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

Though still below average, air temperatures this past week were certainly warmer than the previous week, especially over the weekend. Soil temperatures rebounded nicely as well, with 2-inch and 4-inch temperatures now running close to 60°F for most of our CFAES Ag Weather System stations (Fig. 1). In fact, temperatures are now averaging about 65°F at Western and Piketon. Additional warming is expected this week as air temperatures are likely to reach the mid to upper 80s statewide.


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 recent active weather took a break this past week, with much less rain falling across the state. Figure 2 shows that most of Ohio received less than 0.10”, with many areas reporting no measurable precipitation through 8am Monday May 17, 2021. The warming soil temperatures and dry weather allowed soils to reach acceptable planting conditions once again, with a lot of activity occurring over the weekend. NASA soil moisture depicts dry conditions over the far northwestern counties and developing dryness across the southern tier of counties in Ohio (Fig. 2 – right). This follows a significant reduction in last week’s U.S. Drought Monitor, which currently only depicts 8% of the state with abnormally dry conditions (down from 59% the previous week), and no moderate drought conditions remain in Ohio. However, with a fairly dry forecast over the next 7 days and temperatures in the 80s, strong evaporation will ensue, and soils are likely to dry rapidly this week.


Figure 2: (Left) Precipitation estimates for the last 7 days ending on 5/17/2021. Figure provided by the NWS Ohio River Forecast Center ( (Right) Soil Moisture (%) for 0-40 cm depth as of 5/17/2021 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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