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Soil moisture declines some throughout much of Illinois

Soil temperature higher than in June

Published: Tuesday, July 23, 2013 9:24 a.m. CDT

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – Soil moisture levels at depths of 2 inches declined an average of 15 percent from June, according to Jennie Atkins, Water and Atmospheric Resources Monitoring (WARM) Program manager at the Prairie Research Institute, Illinois State Water Survey, University of Illinois.

On July 15, soil moisture levels at 2 inches averaged 0.24 water fraction by volume (wfv) across Illinois, a decline of 15 percent from June 15. 

Moisture levels were higher at deeper depths, with statewide averages of 0.36 wfv at 20 inches and 0.44 wfv at 39 inches, exhibiting no significant change from June.

Levels were greater in southern Illinois, with an average of 0.33 wfv at 2 inches. 

However, the more localized nature of summer precipitation resulted in soil moisture varying greatly in the area, ranging from 0.17 wfv in Carbondale to 0.36 wfv at Rend Lake at 2 inches.

Soil temperatures averaged 82.9 degrees at 4 inches under bare soil, an increase of 7.5 degrees from 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/) and in the Illinois Water and Climate Summary (http://www.isws.illinois.edu/warm/climate.asp). 

Maps of soil temperatures and moisture levels can also be found at the WARM website (http://www.isws.illinois.edu/warm/soiltemp.asp). 

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.

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