Little Change in Soil Moisture During the First Half of August, Illinois State Water Survey

ISWS Press Release

For Immediate Release August 18, 2015
Little Change in Soil Moisture During the First Half of August
Jennie Atkins, Ph.D. - (217) 333-4966,
Lisa Sheppard - (217) 244-7270,

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – Soil moisture levels in Illinois showed little overall change in the first half of August, 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 map for August 15th, 2015

Precipitation varied greatly across the Illinois Climate Network (ICN) in the first two weeks of August with totals ranging from 0.06 inches in Freeport (Stephenson County) to 2.92 inches at the Rend Lake station near Ina (Jefferson County).

But despite the differences in rainfall totals, soil moisture levels showed no significant overall changes in the first half of the month. Levels at depths of 2 inches averaged 0.24 water fraction by volume (wfv) on August 15 with regional averages ranging from 0.27 wfv in southern Illinois to 0.20 wfv in the west-central part of the state.

Moisture increases were seen at the deeper depths. On August 15, soil moisture averaged 0.35 wfv at 20 inches and 0.44 wfv at 59 inches, 7 to 17 percent above the long-term average.

Soil temperatures were slightly above normal in the first half of the month. Temperatures at 4 inches under bare soil averaged 80.4 degrees, though recorded temperatures ranged from 62.5 to 98.9.

Soil temperatures under sod were 2 to 3 degrees cooler with averages of 78.0 degrees and 77.1 at depths of 4 and 8 inches, respectively.


The Illinois State Water Survey’s WARM Program collects hourly and daily weather and soil information at 19 stations across the state.  Hourly, daily, and monthly data can be found at the WARM website ( and in the Illinois Water and Climate Summary ( 

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