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Publication Abstract

Real-time Web-based Dissemination of Illinois Soil Temperature. Hollinger, Steven E. and Robert W. Scott, 2002  Illinois State Water Survey, Champaign, IL,  ISWS CR 2002-06    Full Text Available
Fall application of nitrogen (N) fertilizer is a common practice in Illinois to help overcome the uncertainties of spring field work and to reduce the potential for delay in planting of spring crops. If, however, the N is applied while soil temperatures are above 50°F, significant N losses can occur before the crop can take up the N. The lost N can pollute the state’s water supplies, resulting in harm to the environment. The objective of this work was to provide agricultural community and public access to near real-time, 4-inch bare soil temperatures measured at 10:00 a.m. Central Standard Time (CST) each day. Hourly soil temperatures are measured at 18 automated weather stations in Illinois operated by the Illinois State Water Survey (ISWS). These stations make up the Illinois Climate Network (ICN). Measured weather variables include 4-inch sodded soil temperature, solar radiation, air temperature, relative humidity, barometric pressure, precipitation, and wind speed and direction. These data are collected, quality controlled, and placed on a Web site ( for public access. Daily maps of the 4-inch bare soil temperature are derived from a combination of actual 4-inch bare soil measurements at 8 ICN stations and computed bare soil temperature from 4-inch sodded soil temperature measurements from the remaining 10 sites. These maps allow users to see the general pattern of the 10:00 a.m. CST soil temperature from which they can estimate soil temperature at a given location. The other measured weather variables also are presented on the Web site in map format.

Steven E. Hollinger and Robert W. Scott, Water and Atmosphere Resources Monitoring Program, Atmospheric Environment Section and Office of the Chief, Illinois State Water Survey, 2204 Griffith Drive, Champaign, Illinois 61820-7945

Illinois State Water Survey

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