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Soil moisture levels remain slightly above normal

Published: Friday, July 5, 2013 12:47 p.m. CST • Updated: Sunday, July 7, 2013 10:25 a.m. CST

CHAMPAIGN – Soil moisture levels remained slightly above normal in the middle of June in Illinois, 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 June 15, soil moisture levels at 2 inches averaged 0.29 water fraction by volume (wfv) in Illinois, 9 percent above normal for the day and 2 percent less than May 15.  This is a marked increase from the values of a year ago when soil moisture averaged 0.17 wfv, only slightly above the wilting point for most soils monitored.

Moisture levels were highest in southern Illinois with an average level of 0.33 wfv or 16 percent above normal.

Similar trends were seen at depths of 20 inches where soil moisture averaged 0.40 wfv, 8 percent above normal and 3 percent below the May 15 average.  Moisture levels were 67 percent above the average from 2012.

Soil temperatures averaged 75.4 degrees F at 4 inches under bare soil, 0.2 degrees below normal for the day.  Temperatures are lower than those from last year when soil temperatures averaged 79.6 degrees F.

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).

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