CFAES Ag Weather System 2021 Near-Surface Air and Soil Temperatures/Moisture

Soil temperatures continued to warm this week despite considerable variability in air temperatures (Fig. 1). Many locations throughout Ohio are now reporting daily average 2- and 4-inch soil temperatures in the mid-50s to low-60s. Daily maximum soil temperatures are routinely reaching 80°F with the increasing sun angle. Warming progress is likely to slow a bit this week. While daytime highs are expected in the 70s again on Tuesday, 50s and 60s are likely behind a cold front for the remainder of the week.

Near-surface air and soil temperatures

Figure 1: Daily average air temperature (dashed red), two-inch (green) and four-inch (blue) soil temperatures for spring 2021. Current daily average soil temperatures are noted for each location. Soil type and location of measurements (under sod or bare soil) are provided in the lower right corner of each panel. A map of all locations is in the bottom right.  Data provided by The College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) Agricultural Research Stations located throughout the state.

The weather pattern has become quite active over the last couple of weeks as well. Most of the state picked up at least 0.5” of rainfall, with two solid swaths of 2-3” amounts across northern and southern Ohio (Fig. 2 left; yellow shading). Additional rain was occurring at the time of this report, and an additional 1-2” are expected over the next 7 days. Figure 2 (right) shows the 2-week change in column (down to 1m) soil moisture (percentage), with improvements noted over the northwest counties (e.g., Paulding, Putnam, and Van Wert) and southeast of about I-71. Much of this rain fell after last week’s U.S. Drought Monitor, which currently depicts about 70% of the state with abnormally dry to moderate drought conditions. The recent wet conditions and forecast may lead to some improvement in the drought monitor over the next couple of weeks.    

Precipitation Estimates

Figure 2: (Left) Precipitation estimates for the last 7 days ending on 5/3/2021. Figure provided by the Midwestern Regional Climate Center ( (Right) 2-week Difference in Column Relative Soil Moisture (%) as of 5/3/2021 according to NASA’s SPORT-LIS (  

For more complete weather records for CFAES research stations, including temperature, precipitation, growing degree days, and other useful weather observations, please visit


Crop Observation and Recommendation Network

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