CHAMPAIGN, Ill., 10/18/21: A wet October has caused soil moisture to rise across the state, according to Jennie Atkins, Water and Atmospheric Resources Monitoring (WARM) program manager at the Illinois State Water Survey.
Soil moisture at 4 inches rose 55 percent on average in Illinois the first half of October. The month has been particularly wet as the state received 3.33 inches of rain between October 1 and 15, more than twice the usual amount. The rain brought relief to northern Illinois as soil moisture levels more than doubled from near wilting points on October 1 to a regional average of 0.31 water fraction by volume on October 15.
Moisture levels rose at depths from 2 to 20 inches. Levels at 39 inches and greater remained high but showed no significant changes.
Soils remained warm as the state had air temperatures more than 10 degrees above normal in the first half of the month. Soils at 4 inches under sod averaged 67 degrees on October 15, 7 degrees higher than last year and 8 degrees higher than the long-term historical average. Daily highs reached the mid-70s with lows in the mid-50s. Temperatures had declined 5 degrees from October 1.
The Illinois State Water Survey’s WARM program collects hourly and daily weather and soil information at 19 stations across the state. Daily and monthly summaries can be found at the WARM website (http://www.isws.illinois.edu/warm/) and in the Illinois Water and Climate Summary (http://www.isws.illinois.edu/warm/climate.asp).
Media contact: Jennie Atkins, Ph.D. - (217) 333-4966, firstname.lastname@example.org