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Agronomic Crops Network

Ohio State University Extension


Spring Weather & Soil Conditions: Update 1

Soil Temperatures and Moisture

Soil Temperatures and Moisture

Following the second warmest winter on record (1895-2023) and near to above average temperatures throughout March, soil temperatures started April off in the low to mid 50s but have since dropped back into the mid-40s to around 50°F (Figure 1). With a steady warming trend in air temperatures expected this week, soil temperatures should respond nicely.

Figure 2: (Left) Precipitation as a percent of normal (1991-2020) since March 1, 2023. Figure provided by the Midwestern Regional Climate Center. (Right) Calculated soil moisture percentiles as of 4/9/2023 according to the Climate Prediction Center.

Ohio has experienced an active weather pattern since late winter, though the storm tracks have shifted northward of late (Figure 2-left). Areas along and northwest of about 1-71 are running up to 200% of normal over the last 45 days, especially in southwest Ohio. March was a bit drier than average across southeast Ohio, running as low as 50% of normal. This has soil moisture running above the 70th percentile across northern Ohio and in a few counties across the southwest as well (Figure 2-right). This week’s conditions should help continue to dry out soils ahead of planting. For more complete weather records for CFAES research stations, including temperature, precipitation, growing degree days, and other useful weather observations, please visit

Weather Forecast

A nearly perfect spring forecast lies ahead this week. High pressure will provide abundant sunshine through Friday with a gradual warming trend. Highs on Tuesday will range from the mid-60s (northeast) to the mid-70s (south), and we will add 2-3 degrees each day to our highs. Overnight lows should remain about freezing all week as well. A cold front will approach the region for the weekend, with increasing chances of rain showers through Monday. Rainfall should remain on the light side however, with the the Weather Prediction Center currently forecasting less than 0.5” across most the state over the next 7 days (Figure 3). 

Figure 2). Precipitation forecast from the Weather Prediction Center for 8pm Monday April 10  – 8pm Monday April 17, 2023.

The 6-10 day outlook from the Climate Prediction Center and the 16-Day Rainfall Outlook from NOAA/NWS/Ohio River Forecast Center show temperatures leaning toward below average with near average precipitation (Figure 4). Climate averages include a high-temperature range of 59-64°F, a low-temperature range of 37-42°F, and weekly total precipitation of about 1 inch.

Figure 3) Climate Prediction Center 6-10 Day Outlook valid for April  16  - 20, 2023, for left) temperatures and right) precipitation. Colors represent the probability of below, normal, or above normal conditions.


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.