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

We are once again providing a soil temperature overview in the C.O.R.N. Newsletter through April-May 2020. The College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES) Agricultural Research Stations located throughout the state have two- and four-inch soil temperatures monitored on an hourly basis.


Soil Temp and Near Surface Air Temps

Figure 1 shows that two- and four-inch soil temperatures have modestly warmed over the last week despite average air temperatures still running 2-10°F below average for this time of year. However, as the sun angle continues to increase, near surface soil temperatures are responding well.  In general, average soil temperatures climbed about 10°F over the last week, into the upper 40s at Northwestern to Wooster and into the mid to upper 50s across the southern stations (Western to Piketon). Despite rain in the forecast this week, highs are expected to remain in the 50s and 60s with overnight lows in the 40s (no widespread freezing temperatures expected). Warmer conditions for the weekend should result in soil temperatures continuing to warm throughout the period.   

Figure 2 (left) shows a wide range in precipitation over the past week (through Sunday 04/26/2020 – 8am), with only 0.10” falling in parts of Fulton, Henry, and Wood Counties to 2” in a few southern locations. With precipitation on the light side the last couple of weeks across Northwest Ohio, calculated soil moisture has fallen there, with some locations now depicting less than the 80th percentile (Figure 2 – right). Very wet conditions remain across the eastern half of Ohio.   

Figure 2: (Left) Precipitation estimates for the last 7 days ending on 4/20/2020. Figure provided by the Midwest Regional Climate Center (https://www.mrcc.illinois.edu). (Right) Calculated soil moisture ranking percentile for April 19, 2020 provided by NOAA's Climate Prediction Center (https://www.cpc.noa.gov/).

For more complete weather records for CFAES research stations, including temperature, precipitation, growing degree days, and other useful weather observations, please visit https://www.oardc.ohio-state.edu/weather1/. For a weekly climate assessment, visit https://climate.osu.edu.

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.