Soil moisture levels in southern Illinois increased over the weekend as the region saw more than 3 inches of rain at some locations, 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 depths of 2 inches across Illinois averaged 0.27 water fraction by volume (wfv) on Aug. 17, showing a small overall increase for the month so far. The highest values were measured in southern Illinois with levels averaging 0.34 wfv on the 17th, increasing 42 percent over the weekend.
Northern and Central Illinois had soil moisture averages of 0.23 wfv, still significantly above the wilting point of 0.14 wfv for most of the soils measured.
Soils were wetter at the deeper depths, averaging 0.43 wfv at 39 and 59 inches statewide.
Soil temperatures were 2 to 4 degrees below normal for August, averaging 74.1 degrees at 4 inches under bare soil. The lowest temperatures were measured in Dekalb with bare soil temperatures averaging 68.7 degrees on August 17.
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.
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.