Increase in soil moisture due to recent rains
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[May 23, 2014]
– Recent rains across Illinois have led to increases in soil
moisture levels, according to Jennie Atkins, Water and Atmospheric
Resources Monitoring (WARM) Program Manager at the Illinois State
Water Survey, Prairie Research Institute, University of Illinois.
Soil moisture levels from May 11 to May 19 increased 14 percent,
on average, at depths of 2 inches. The highest levels were seen
in southern Illinois where soil moisture on May 18 averaged 0.39
percent by volume, comparable to the field capacity of 0.36 for
most of the soils measured.
At deeper depths, soil moisture was also high, averaging 0.41
percent by volume at 20 inches and 0.44 percent at 59 inches
across the state. Little change has been seen in levels at
these depths for the first two weeks of May.
Soil temperatures are beginning to increase again after a slight
cooling spell at the end of last week. On May 18, temperatures
averaged 60.2 degrees F at 4 inches under bare soil and 59.3
degrees F at the same depth under sod.
The Illinois State Water Survey’s WARM Program collects hourly
and daily weather and soil information at 19 stations across the
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).
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Maps of soil temperatures and moisture levels can also be found
at the WARM website (http://www.isws.illinois.edu/warm/soiltemp.asp).
[Text received; LISA SHEPPARD,
ILLINOIS STATE WATER SURVEY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS]
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.