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Soil moisture levels high across Illinois

Published: Friday, April 18, 2014 12:05 p.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, April 21, 2014 9:55 a.m. CDT

CHAMPAIGN - Soil moisture levels in Illinois are high in the middle of April, 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 at 2 inches averaged 37 percent by volume across the state on April 14, just at the field capacity for most of the soils measured. The highest levels were measured in southern Illinois with an average of 43 percent by volume. Fairfield and Dixon Springs State Park, both of which received significant rainfall earlier in the week, averaged levels of 49 percent by volume on April 14.

Conditions were slightly wetter at the deeper depths, averaging 41 percent by volume at 20 inches and 44 percent at 59 inches.

Soil temperatures have declined slightly with the cooler weather this week. Soil temperatures at 4 inches under bare soil averaged 51.3 degrees across the state on April 14, 7 degrees less than on April 12.

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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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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