CFAES Ag Weather System 2021 Near-Surface Air and Soil Temperatures/Moisture (Final 2021 Installment)


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.

As summer-like weather takes hold, soil temperatures have responded in a big way. Air temperatures were 2-12°F (south to north) above average this past week. Toledo Express Airport recorded a 4-day 90°F+ streak, the longest in May since 1962. Several CFAES Ag Weather stations are reporting daily average 2-inch and 4-inch soil temperatures in the low to mid 70°F range, with others not far behind (Fig. 1). This is a rapid two-week warm up, with soil temperatures increasing 20-30 degrees over the last two weeks. Additional warming is expected early this week before more seasonal temperatures return for the latter half of the week.

Most of Ohio picked up very little rainfall this week. A system last Tuesday brought a decent amount of moisture to the southwestern portion of the state, where 0.25-0.75” fell (isolated 1.50”; Fig. 2-left). Wednesday through Sunday were dry and warm across the state. Sunday night, a small cluster of storms fired along the northern edge of high-pressure, with reports of 0.25-2.00” from Lucas County southeast through Richland and Morrow Counties. Overall, this is still below average for most of Ohio, with 30-day precipitation falling well below average in far northwest and south-central Ohio. As a result, soil moisture is still lacking relative to historical conditions across many areas of Ohio (Fig. 2-right). Although the latest U.S. Drought Monitor remained the same (8% of the state with abnormally dry conditions), moderate degradation is likely this coming week. However, the forecast indicates multiple opportunities for scattered rainfall between Wednesday and Saturday with below to near average totals (0.75-1.00”).


Figure 2: (Left) Precipitation estimates for the last 7 days ending on 5/24/2021. Figure provided by the NWS Ohio River Forecast Center ( (Right) Soil Moisture (%) for 0-40 cm depth as of 5/24/2021 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

C.O.R.N. Newsletter is a summary of crop observations, related information, and appropriate recommendations for Ohio crop producers and industry. C.O.R.N. Newsletter is produced by the Ohio State University Extension Agronomy Team, state specialists at The Ohio State University and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC). C.O.R.N. Newsletter questions are directed to Extension and OARDC state specialists and associates at Ohio State.