Mild Winter leads to warmer soil temperatures across Illinois
The mild winter weather has led to higher soil temperatures in comparison to last winter based on temperatures collected at weather stations across the state, according to the Illinois State Water Survey.
Soil temperatures are measured at depths of 4 inches under bare soil and at 4 and 8 inches under sod. Sod generally acts as an insulator, causing soil temperatures to react more slowly to environmental changes.
The median soil temperature from November through January at depths of 4 inches under bare soil was 38.0 degrees, 4.7 degrees higher than the same period last year. Similar increases were also seen for soil temperatures measured at 4 and 8 inches under sod.
The highest temperatures were observed in southern Illinois where the median soil temperature at 4 inches under bare soil was 42.1 degrees, 6.9 degrees higher than last winter. The medians for central and northern Illinois, 36.7 degrees and 33.9 degrees respectively, were also higher than those of last winter.
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