Champaign, Ill. - Soils in mid-September are dry throughout the state, according to Jennie Atkins, Water and Atmospheric Resources Monitoring (WARM) Program manager at University of Illinois’ Illinois State Water Survey.
Illinois received 0.20 inches of rain for the month as of September 17, 1.59 inches below the long-term average. Dry weather in August and September has led to low soil moisture across Illinois. Moisture levels at 2-inch depths have declined 84 percent in September to a statewide average of 0.16 water fraction by volume (wfv). Soils at several locations monitored were near or at the wilting points.
Declines of 10 percent or more occurred at depths of 4 to 20 inches. Smaller declines of 4 and 2 percent occurred at depths of 39 and 59 inches, respectively.
Soil temperatures were lower than normal the first week of September, but have been rising since the second week. Temperatures at 4 inches under sod averaged of 73.3 degrees on September 17 with regional averages ranging from 71.0 degrees in the north to 75.2 in southern Illinois.
Temperatures were warmer under bare soil, averaging 75.6 degrees at 2 inches and 76.5 at 4 inches.
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).