CHAMPAIGN, Ill., 9/17/20: Soil temperatures have cooled the first half of September, according to Jennie Atkins, Water and Atmospheric Resources Monitoring (WARM) program manager at the Illinois State Water Survey.
Soil temperatures at 4 inches under bare soil fell 5 degrees the first two weeks of September to a state average of 70 degrees on September 15. Daily highs were in the 70s and 80s, while lows fell into the 60s. Temperatures were 4 degrees above the long-term historical average but 5 degrees cooler than in 2019.
The largest drops were in east central Illinois, where temperatures decreased 7 degrees on average.
Wetter weather the past two weeks has led to increases in soil moisture for northern and central Illinois. Statewide moisture levels at 2-inch depths have risen 28 percent on average. The greatest changes were in northern Illinois. The region has received more than 6 inches of rain so far for the month, causing soil moisture to rise 176 percent.
Southern Illinois has seen drier weather, however. The region averaged 0.57 inches of rain, leading to a 25 percent decrease in soil moisture.
Moisture levels have increased at depths from 4 to 20 inches and remain steady at depths of 39 inches and greater.
Media Contact: Jennie Atkins, Ph.D. - (217) 333-4966, firstname.lastname@example.org
Water and Atmospheric Resources Monitoring (WARM)
Illinois State Water Survey