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Science

A lack of rain prompts drier soils across Illinois in mid-June

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Drier weather has led to declining soil moisture across Illinois, according to Jennie Atkins, Water and Atmospheric Resources Monitoring program manager at the Illinois State Water Survey.

The state has received 1.07 inches of rain in the first half of June, 1 inch below normal for the period. The lack of rain along with air temperatures reaching into the low 90s has caused soils throughout Illinois to dry rapidly.

Soil moisture at 2 inches averaged 0.23 water fraction by volume on June 15, a decrease of 31% from June 1. Declines also occurred at 4 and 8 inches with moisture levels dropping 27% and 24%, respectively. Soils remained wetter at depths of 39 inches and greater, showing no significant changes in June.

Soil temperatures at 4 inches under bare soil rose 5 degrees the first two weeks of June to a state average of 75.3 degrees on June 15 with daily highs in the 80s and 90s for most monitoring locations. Temperatures averaged 6 degrees higher than last year and 2 degrees higher than the long-term average.

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