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Ohio State University Extension


Spring 2024 Weather & Soil Conditions: Update 1

Soil Temperatures and Moisture



Figure 1: Daily average air temperature (dashed red), two-inch (green) and four-inch (blue) soil temperatures for spring 2024. 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.

Following yet another warm winter (now the second warmest on record 1895-2024) and temperatures 2-6°F above average for the month of March, April soil temperatures are starting off on the warm side. Two-inch and four-inch soil temperatures across northern Ohio are in the low to mid 40s, while stations across the south are reporting low to mid 50s for daily averages (Figure 1). Soil temperatures should remain steady early this week, with a slight drop off this weekend possible as cooler air filters into the region.


Figure 2: (Top-Left) Precipitation (inches) for March 2024. (Top-Right) Precipitation as a percent of normal (1991-2020) for March 2024. Figures provided by the Midwestern Regional Climate Center. (Bottom) Calculated soil moisture percentiles as of 31 March 2024 according to the Climate Prediction Center.

After Ohio experienced its 13th driest fall on record to end 2023, this past winter’s precipitation was close to normal. During March, much of the state experienced less than normal precipitation. Much of the southern counties only picked up 50% of normal precipitation during the month, while localized amounts of 3-4” were less common. This has soil moisture running in the 20-30th percentile across the southwest quadrant of Ohio (Figure 2). Expected precipitation this week will help alleviate some of the long-term dryness. For more complete weather records for CFAES research stations, including temperature, precipitation, growing degree days, and other useful weather observations, please visit

Weather Forecast

We began the week with a frontal boundary spralled out across the state, which is providing a focal point for showers and storms. Areas from Delaware to Guernsey County picked up 3-5” of rain Sunday night into Monday morning. This boundary will shift to northern Ohio during the day Tuesday, creating a recipe for strong to severe storms for much of Ohio including a moderate chance of tornadoes across the state. Temperatures will range from the low 60s across the north to low to mid 70s across the south. A cold front will pass through the region on Wednesday, dropping temperatures back into the 30s and 40s, with rain and/or snow showers scattered across the region. Thursday and Friday could remain a bit unsettled before conditions dry out for the weekend. Overnight lows this week could drop well below freezing if clear skies occur, something to keep in mind as we are 20-30 days ahead of the growing season schedule. As of this writing, at least some of the area is expecting cloudy conditions during the eclipse on Monday April 8th but the forecast is likely to change numerous times over the course of the week. The Weather Prediction Center currently forecasting 1.50-2.50” of additional precipitation over the next 7 days, with isolated heavier amounts (Figure 3).

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Figure 3). Precipitation forecast from the Weather Prediction Center for 8pm Monday April 1  – 8pm Monday April 8, 2024.

The 6-10 day outlook from the Climate Prediction Center and the 16-Day Rainfall Outlook from NOAA/NWS/Ohio River Forecast Center show above average temperatures are likely with near to above average precipitation (Figure 4). Climate averages include a high-temperature range of 55-61°F, a low-temperature range of 33-39°F, and weekly total precipitation of 0.65-1”.

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Figure 4) Climate Prediction Center 6-10 Day Outlook valid for April  7  - 11, 2024, 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.