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Ohio State University Extension


Spring Weather & Soil Conditions: Update 6

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.

Air temperatures ran 2-4°F above average over the last 7 days, with a statewide average increase of more than 100 accumulated growing degree days. Soil temperatures continue to warm as well (Figure 1). Only far northeast Ohio remains in the upper 50s for daily average 2” and 4” soil temperatures. The rest of the state shows temperatures in the mid to upper 60s.

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Figure 2: (Left) Total precipitation over the 7-day period of 8am May 8 – 8am May 15, 2023. Figure provided by the Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service (Right) Calculated soil moisture percentiles as of 5/14/2023 according to the Climate Prediction Center.

Most of Ohio received 0.25” or more of rain over the last 7 days, with heavier pockets falling across central Ohio (Figure 2-left). Reports of 2-3” occurred in northern Shelby, parts of Champaign, Madison, and Franklin Counties. Columbus, Ohio set a daily record on Friday May 12 of 2.49”. This led to isolated reports of flooding and standing water in newly planted fields. Soil moisture remains adequate across the state, varying between the 30th and 70th percentiles (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 15  – 8pm Monday May 22, 2023.

A weak system moving across Kentucky on Tuesday May 16 will bring a few scattered showers to southern Ohio. By Wednesday, high pressure will settle in behind a cold front and remain in place through Friday morning. A cold front will approach the region late Friday, crossing the state on Saturday with a few showers and storms. High pressure and fair conditions will follow. Temperatures will start the week on the cool side with highs only in the 60s on Tuesday and Wednesday. Overnight lows will drop mainly into the 40s. Highs should return to the 70s for Friday through Monday. Overall, the Weather Prediction Center is currently forecasting below average precipitation over the next 7 days, with only 0.25-0.50 expected across much of Ohio, slightly higher amounts near the Ohio River (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 below average precipitation likely (Figure 4). Climate averages include a high-temperature range of 73-76°F, a low-temperature range of 50-55°F, and weekly total precipitation of about 0.85-1.05”.


Figure 4) Climate Prediction Center 6-10 Day Outlook valid for May 21  - 25, 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.