CHAMPAIGN, Ill., 6/21/22: Illinois’ soils are warm and dry in mid-June after record-breaking hot weather blanketed the state, according to Jennie Atkins, Water and Atmospheric Resources Monitoring (WARM) program manager at the Illinois State Water Survey.
Illinois experienced excessive heat in the first half of June as temperatures rose into the mid- and high 90s. Soil temperatures followed. On June 15, soil temperatures averaged 85 degrees, an increase of 11 degrees from on June 1 and 11 degrees higher than the long-term average. Daily highs reached the low 100s.
The increasing temperatures and lack of rain have caused soils to dry. Soil moisture at 2-inch depths fell 24 percent in the first half of June. The drying continued last weekend to a state average of 0.20 water fraction by volume (wfv) on June 19.
All regions have seen significant drying. However, moisture levels in both northern and east-central Illinois are averaging at the wilting points for most of the soils monitored. While levels are lower in the west and south, they are above the wilting points for now.
Significant drying has also occurred at 4- and 8-inch depths, declining 19 and 13 percent, respectively. Soil moisture levels at 39 inches and deeper remain high, showing little change in June.
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/).
Media contact: Jennie Atkins, 217-333-4966, firstname.lastname@example.org