Soil moisture improved in October in Illinois

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[October 20, 2017]    Soil moisture levels have improved throughout the state during the first half of October, according to Jennie Atkins, Water and Atmospheric Resources Monitoring (WARM) Program manager at University of Illinois’ Illinois State Water Survey.

Illinois received 4.07 inches of rain during October 1–17, leading to increases in soil moisture levels at depths from 2 to 39 inches.

Soil moisture at 2 inches doubled to a state average of 0.29 water fraction by volume (wfv) on October 17. Northern Illinois had some of the largest changes in soil moisture. Levels at a station in DeKalb County increased 180 percent during this time. However, improvements occurred at all locations in Illinois.

Soil moisture also improved at depths of 4, 8, 20, and 39 inches during the first part of October, while levels at 59 inches remained steady.

Soil temperatures at depths of 4 inches under sod declined 6.7 degrees in early October to a state average of 59.9 degrees on October 17. Under bare soil, soil temperatures fell 11.6 and 11.0 degrees at depths of 2 and 4 inches, respectively.

[Lisa A. Sheppard]

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 ( and in the Illinois Water and Climate Summary (



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