Soil temperature contains the recent weather history

Observing the fluctuations in soil temperature can be intriguing, as the soil acts as a record keeper of recent climatic events. Which makes sense, the soil absorbs the rain. The soil absorbs the cold. It absorbs the heat.

Thus, in the spring, when it starts to get warm, the soil temperature will remain colder than the air. In Chicago, we had a warm winter, so the soil temperature is much higher than normal, which means the 17-year cicadas might come out earlier!

In the past couple days, the temperature has dropped, so we’ll slowly see the soil temps start to drop a bit. Even when it gets warmer out, we’ll still see the soil temperatures drop.

The purple line is the soil temperature. See how it’s going down down down? Recently we’ve had some cold weather after quite a warm winter.

All part of how soil contains the recent history of weather. The soil temperature is always a little bit behind the air temperature. And that’s kinda cool.

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