Soil moisture remains lower than normal

CHAMPAIGN – Soil moisture levels remain lower than normal, according to Jennie Atkins, Water and Atmospheric Resources Monitoring (WARM) Program manager at the Prairie Research Institute, Illinois State Water Survey, University of Illinois.

Soil moisture at two inches averaged 0.19 water fraction by volume (wfv) statewide Sept. 15, lower than the historical average of 0.23 wfv. Moisture levels were highest in northern Illinois, with an average of 0.24 wfv, with higher levels because of precipitation in the region Sept. 15.   

Conditions were wetter at the deeper levels. Statewide moisture levels at 20 inches averaged 0.31 wfv, with the highest levels measured in the southern portion of the state.

Soil temperatures declined from August. Temperatures at depths of 4 inches under bare soil averaged 69.4 degrees statewide Sept. 15, with the highest temperature, 75.7 degrees F, measured in Carbondale.  

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 (www.isws.illinois.edu/warm/) and in the Illinois Water and Climate Summary (www.isws.illinois.edu/warm/climate.asp).  

Maps of soil temperatures and moisture levels can also be found at the WARM website (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.