The soil moisture balance equation over large spatial territories is analyzed at seasonal time scales. Local recycling of precipitation and dynamic effects of soil moisture in the generation and modification of mesoscale circulations are explicitly included in the parameterization which also incorporates time delays in the above effects. It is shown that the dynamics of the equation is quite complex, being capable of exhibiting fixed point, limit cycle, and chaotic type of behavior. The implications of this dynamics are important for the interpretation and modeling of hydrologie phenomena. Copyright 1991 by the American Geophysical Union.