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Robert W. Scott, Edward C. Krug, and Stephen L. Burch

1. Introduction This document presents results from a simple, but noteworthy, experiment to understand the degree of soil moisture variability observed within a relatively small sod-covered area located inside the considerable agricultural region of Illinois. Soil moisture is a key component in the hydrologic cycle. It is useful in numerous settings, such as its relation to the magnitudes of localized floods and regional droughts, modeling research on watershed studies, and projected effects

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B. Bisselink and A. J. Dolman

1. Introduction The origin of precipitation in a region can generally be divided into two main sources: local evaporation and externally advected moisture. Precipitation originating from local evaporation is then referred to as “recycled precipitation” ( Dominguez et al. 2006 ). Soil moisture may influence the generation of precipitation in a region through a feedback loop involving evaporation from the land. These feedback mechanisms are very important components for the land surface

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Trent W. Ford and Steven M. Quiring

1. Introduction Soil moisture is vital to land–atmosphere interactions and it can modulate drought conditions, especially in semiarid environments such as the North American Great Plains ( Koster et al. 2004 ). However, few soil moisture monitoring networks exist relative to networks observing temperature and precipitation, impeding research of land–atmosphere feedbacks critical to drought prediction and mitigation. Remote sensing and land surface models (LSMs) are commonly employed for

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Benjamin R. Lintner and J. David Neelin

idealized conditions of low-level dry air inflow into a land region from an adjacent ocean. The LN07 prototype demonstrates how the characteristics of such inflow convective margins—for example, the location of the transition between nonconvecting and convecting conditions—depend on dynamic and thermodynamic variables, including low-level circulation, inflow moisture, and tropospheric temperature. For simplicity, the LN07 analysis neglected effects of land surface conditions such as soil moisture on

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Trent W. Ford, Steven M. Quiring, Chen Zhao, Zachary T. Leasor, and Christian Landry

1. Introduction Soil moisture is a critical variable, impacting and informing a wide variety of scientific disciplines and applications. Soil moisture influences the climate system through modification of energy and moisture fluxes into the boundary layer, thereby influencing temperature, humidity, and precipitation ( McPherson 2007 ; Seneviratne et al. 2010 ; Santanello et al. 2011 ). This influence, or memory, from anomalously wet or dry soils can have a persistent impact on the atmosphere

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Zachary F. Johnson and Nathan M. Hitchens

the climatology of drylines, have not been researched as comprehensively. There have only been a few studies that focused on the evapotranspiration or soil moisture effect on the dryline ( Ziegler et al. 1995 ; Shaw 1995 ; Grasso 2000 ), and all of them incorporated atmospheric models. Curiously, no studies used observed soil moisture data and its effect on the dryline. This study examines observed soil moisture values as a surrogate for evapotranspiration and relates them to the daily position

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Gift Dumedah, Aaron A. Berg, and Mark Wineberg

1. Introduction Soil moisture is an important component of the hydrological cycle as it plays an integral role in mass and energy exchange between the land surface and the atmosphere. As a result, accurate estimation of soil moisture can improve weather and streamflow forecasting in climate and hydrological models ( Berg and Mulroy 2006 ; Reichle et al. 2007 , 2008 ). Remotely sensed soil moisture data have become readily available from a variety of satellite platforms such as the Advanced

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Dara Entekhabi, Rolf H. Reichle, Randal D. Koster, and Wade T. Crow

particular challenge of defining metrics for satellite retrievals of surface (top 5 cm) soil moisture and for data products (including rootzone soil moisture) that are derived from the assimilation of the surface retrievals into a land model. Remote sensing of terrestrial microwave emission and radar backscatter in the L-band spectral range is sensitive to the water content of soils in a 0–5-cm surface layer. Such retrievals will soon be available from the Soil Moisture Ocean Salinity (SMOS) mission

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C. Albergel, P. de Rosnay, G. Balsamo, L. Isaksen, and J. Muñoz-Sabater

1. Introduction Soil moisture is a crucial variable for numerical weather and climate prediction as it controls the partitioning of energy into latent and sensible heat fluxes at the soil–atmosphere interface. In addition it is a key variable in hydrological processes (i.e., runoff, evaporation from bare soil, and transpiration from the vegetation cover) and has an impact on plant growth and carbon fluxes ( Dirmeyer et al. 1999 ; Entekhabi et al. 1999 ). Soil moisture is also important for

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Venkataramana Sridhar, Kenneth G. Hubbard, Jinsheng You, and Eric D. Hunt

1. Introduction Soil moisture plays a vital role in linking drought, climate, and vegetation. Soil moisture data, collected from depths below the surface over the long term as well as at higher temporal and spatial resolutions, are valuable for assessing the extent and severity of drought quite accurately. There are also a variety of drought indices and a thorough description on their tractability, transparency, sophistication, extendability, and dimensionality is given by Keyantash and Dracup

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