AGCI Insight

2020 Soil Moisture at a Glance

March 11, 2021

Why does soil moisture matter?

Soil moisture is one of the key factors in determining volume of spring runoff, forming a link between the previous fall’s weather and the coming season’s streamflow. Once soil freezes in winter, the water in the soil is locked in place until soils thaw in the spring, which typically coincides with the final days of snowmelt. When snowmelt does arrive, dry soils are able to absorb and hold more water than wet soils, meaning that a smaller percentage of snowmelt may become runoff following a wet fall season than a dry one. The graphs below offer a comparison between 2020 soil moisture values and average soil moisture values for soil at an 8in depth across all iRON sites.

About the graphs:

Further data can be found at: irondataboard.org.