Soil Moisture Levels Decreasing from Last Week’s Highs
|Jennie Atkins, Ph.D. - (217) 333-4966, firstname.lastname@example.org|
Lisa Sheppard - (217) 244-7270, email@example.com
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – Soil moisture levels are falling from the highs seen last week due to storms across the state, according to Jennie Atkins, Water and Atmospheric Resources Monitoring (WARM) Program Manager at the Illinois State Water Survey, Prairie Research Institute, University of Illinois.
Rains last week caused increases in soil moisture levels across the state. On June 11, statewide levels at 2 inches averaged 0.36 water fraction by volume (wfv), the field capacity of most of the soils monitored.
With drier weather, levels have fallen since that time to averages of 0.28 wfv at 2 inches and 0.31 wfv at 4 inches on June 15. The highest numbers were seen in southern Illinois with a regional average of 0.33 wfv at 2 inches.
Soils were wetter at the deeper depths. Statewide levels averaged 0.37 wfv at 20 inches and 0.44 wfv at 59 inches on June 15. There was little change at these depths in the first two weeks of June.
Soil temperatures cooled slightly during the second week of June, but had returned to near normal levels by the end of the week. On June 15, soil temperatures at 4 inches under sod averaged 70.4 degrees F statewide. Temperatures at 4 inches under bare soil averaged 71.9 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).
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.