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Warmer soil temperatures continue into March

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[April 12, 2012]  CHAMPAIGN -- Soil temperatures continued to rise across Illinois in February and March, according to Jennie Atkins, manager of the Water and Atmospheric Resources Monitoring program at the Illinois State Water Survey.

The median Illinois soil temperature at 4 inches under bare soil in February was 35.9 degrees, 3.3 degrees higher than February 2011. The median soil temperature in March was also higher at 54.6 degrees, or 12.1 degrees greater than last year. Similar increases were observed in measurements made at depths of 4 and 8 inches under sod.

Southern and central Illinois saw increases of 13 degrees in March over last year, with median temperatures of 58.7 degrees and 55.2 degrees, respectively, at 4 inches under bare soil. Soil temperatures in northern Illinois were also greater than in 2011, with a median temperature of 41.3 degrees for March.

The Illinois State Water Survey's Water and Atmospheric Resources Monitoring program collects hourly and daily weather and soil information at 19 stations across the state. Daily and monthly summaries are available at the WARM website,, and in the Illinois Water and Climate Summary,

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Maps with hourly soil temperatures at 4 inches, both under sod and under bare soil, can also be found at the WARM website, at


The Illinois State Water Survey at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a division of the Prairie Research Institute, is the primary agency in Illinois concerned with water and atmospheric resources.

[Text from file received from the Illinois State Water Survey

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