CHAMPAIGN, Ill., 5/14/18: Ag producers looking for up-to-the-minute weather information during planting season have a new tool at their disposal. The Illinois State Water Survey’s Illinois Climate Network (ICN) has just begun monitoring air temperature inversions at five stations: DeKalb, Monmouth, Bondville, Brownstown, and Carbondale.
Air temperatures are monitored at 1.5 and 10 feet and displayed on a map on the Water and Atmospheric Resources Monitoring (WARM) Program website, http://www.isws.illinois.edu/warm/. The information is updated every 5 minutes.
Temperature inversions are air masses in which cooler air is closer to the Earth’s surface and warmer air is on top, opposite of normal conditions. Inversions can develop quickly and are most common in the early mornings and evenings, although they can occur any time.
“The map will help users assess the possibility of temperature inversions in the area,” said Jennie Atkins, WARM program manager. “It is not a decision-making tool that will tell users whether to spray pesticides, but it provides information on what is going on in the area, particularly for those who might be concerned about pesticide drift.”
The USDA Midwest Climate Hub provided funding to ICN for five of its 19 stations as part of a larger project monitoring real-time temperature inversions in several Midwestern states. Private contributions would help WARM expand monitoring efforts to the other 14 stations. For more information about supporting WARM, visit https://www.isws.illinois.edu/warm/sponsorship.asp or contact Jennie Atkins, Ph.D., (217) 333-4966, firstname.lastname@example.org.