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

soil surface temperatures

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.


Figure 1: Average daily air temperature (red), two-inch (green) and four-inch (blue) soil temperatures for spring 2020. Soil type and placement are provided for each location. Map of locations provided in the bottom right. Soil temperatures are minimum temperatures for Versailles and Xenia and daily average for other sites.

Figure 1 shows that two- and four-inch soil temperatures continued to warm over the past week. Air temperatures were a couple of degrees above average across north central Ohio but averaged a couple of degrees below normal across southern counties where rainfall was more abundant. Many locations throughout Ohio reached their first 80°F temperature of the season this past weekend. Generally, average soil temperatures climbed about 10°F once again this week, into the mid to upper 50s across northern stations (Northwestern to Wooster) and into the upper 50s to low 60s across southern stations (Western to Piketon). Increases in soil temperature will likely stall this week, as a much cooler pattern settles over the region. Air temperatures are expected to be in 50s with overnight lows falling into the 30s. This will be accompanied by a couple of opportunities for light precipitation.   

Precipitation and Soil Moisture ending 05/04/20

Figure 2: (Left) Precipitation estimates for the last 7 days ending on 05/04/2020. Figure provided by the Midwest Regional Climate Center ( (Right) Calculated soil moisture ranking percentile for May 3, 2020 provided by NOAA's Climate Prediction Center (

Figure 2 (left) shows a wide range in precipitation over the past week. Northwest Ohio counties were mainly dry once again with less than 0.25”. Much heavier precipitation (up to 3”) fell from Hamilton County eastward through southern Meigs County. With precipitation remaining lighter in the west, calculated soil moisture has dropped into the 30-70th percentile range (Figure 2 – right). Very wet soil conditions remain across the east and south.   

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