CHAMPAIGN, Ill., 4/16/20: Colder weather entering Illinois has caused soil temperatures to fall, according to Jennie Atkins, Water and Atmospheric Resources Monitoring (WARM) program manager at the University of Illinois’ Illinois State Water Survey.
Soil temperatures at 4 inches under bare soil averaged 46 degrees statewide on April 15, a drop of 4 degrees from April 1.
Soils warmed the first week of the month, reaching temperatures from the mid-50s in the north to high 60s in the south. However, cooler weather led to falling soil temperatures with daily lows in the mid-30s to low 40s. Mid-month temperatures averaged 2 degrees below those of mid-April 2019.
Soil moisture has also fallen. The moisture levels at 2-inch depths have declined an average of 21 percent statewide between April 1 and 15.
The southern and central regions have seen decreases of more than 20 percent, while northern Illinois had an average decline of 8 percent. However, moisture levels were ample with an average of 0.33 water fraction by volume on April 15, slightly below field capacity for most of the soils monitored.
Declines were also seen at depths from 4 to 20 inches. At 39 and 59 inches, soil moisture remained high with little change in April.
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