Soil Moisture High in Northern and East-Central Illinois, Illinois State Water Survey

ISWS Press Release

For Immediate Release July 16, 2014
Soil Moisture High in Northern and East-Central Illinois
Jennie Atkins, Ph.D. - (217) 333-4966,
Lisa Sheppard - (217) 244-7270,

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – Soils in northern and east-central Illinois are beginning to dry out after the rains of last weekend, 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 ended the first half of July with a statewide average of 0.30 water fraction by volume (wfv), slightly below the field capacity for most of the soils monitored.

Soil Moisture map for April 15th, 2014

The highest moisture levels were in northern and east-central Illinois with regional averages of 0.35 and 0.38 wfv at two inches, respectively.  These areas saw up to 4.5 inches of rain on July 12 and 13.  West-central and southern Illinois had averages of 0.25 and 0.28 wfv, respectively, still significantly above the wilting point of 0.14 wfv.

At depths of 20 inches and greater, soils were wet.  Statewide levels averaged 0.38 wfv at 20 inches and 0.44 wfv at 59 inches.

Soil temperatures have cooled over the past few days.  On July 15, temperatures were below normal with statewide averages of 74.0 degrees F and 72.7 degrees at depths of 4 inches under sod and under bare soil.

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 ( and in the Illinois Water and Climate Summary (

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.

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