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Ohio State University Extension


Spring Weather & Soil Conditions: Update 5

Soil Temperatures and Moisture

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Figure 1: Daily average air temperature (dashed red), two-inch (green) and four-inch (blue) soil temperatures for spring 2023. 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.

What a raw way to start the month of May last week! Temperatures ran 4-10°F below average over the last seven days, with much of the state not making it out of the 40s for highs on Monday and Tuesday (May 1-2). Soil temperatures tanked by mid-week as well, bottoming out in the mid-40s to low 50s (Figure 1). However, a nice warming trend over the weekend has daily average soil temperatures back in the upper 50s, with a few locations recording maximum daytime soil temperatures near 70.

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Figure 2: (Left) Total precipitation over the 7-day period of 8am May 1 – 8am May 8, 2023. Figure provided by the Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service (Right) Calculated soil moisture percentiles as of 5/7/2023 according to the Climate Prediction Center.

Much of Ohio received 0.50-1.0” of precipitation last week (Figure 2-left). A couple of pockets of 2-3” fell over southwest, northeast, and southeast counties (yellow and beige shading). Soil moisture remains adequate across the state. Cool conditions limited evaporation last week, and weekend rain has the surface damp. Much of the state is reporting soil moisture between the 30th and 70th percentiles, with slightly wetter conditions in far northwest Ohio (Figure 2-right). For more complete weather records for CFAES research stations, including temperature, precipitation, growing degree days, and other useful weather observations, please visit

Weather Forecast

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Figure 3). Precipitation forecast from the Weather Prediction Center for 8pm Monday May 8  – 8pm Monday May 15, 2023.

A stationary front providing the focus of showers and storms on Monday will slowly move  toward the east on Tuesday. High pressure will move in for Wednesday and Thursday with drier conditions and temperatures in the mid 70s to low 80s (north to south). Another system will move in starting on Friday, with opportunities for showers and storms persisting through Sunday. Highs will remain in the mid 70s to low 80s, with overnight lows staying well above the freezing mark. Overall, the Weather Prediction Center is currently forecasting 0.50-1.50” for much of Ohio with lighter amounts across far northeastern counties (Figure 3).

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 cooler than average with near normal precipitation (Figure 4). Climate averages include a high-temperature range of 69-74°F, a low-temperature range of 49-54°F, and weekly total precipitation of about 0.85-1.15”.

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.