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Europe Mars Bulletins


29 January 2013

Europe Mars Bulletins Vol. 21 No. 1 Europe Mars Bulletins Vol. 21 No. 1


Supplied by: MARS BULLETIN – EC - JRC

EU27: Well-advanced Hardening and no Frost Kill so far

For the most part, above-average temperatures were recorded in western Europe, while eastern regions were colder than usual. Precipitation was abundant in western Europe but rather scarce in the Iberian Peninsula, Maghreb and Sicily.

The hardening of the winter crops is well advanced. Based on our simulations, no frost kill damage is expected between now and the end of January.

Agro-meteorological Overview

Weather conditions were variable during the considered period all over Europe. Mostly above-average temperatures were recorded in western Europe, while the eastern regions were colder than usual. Active temperatures (Tbase>0°C) exceeded the average in the British Isles, western countries of Europe and some areas of the western Mediterranean. The surplus reached 80-150 growing degree days in Fronce, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and smaller spots of Spain, the Czech Republic, Italy and Slovenia. Precipitation was abundant in western Europe, at the coastline of the eastern basin of the Mediterranean Sea and the southern Black Sea region. Snow partially covered Europe from Germany to Russia and provided protection for the winter crops against severe frosts. The hardening of the winter crops is in accordance with the seasonal norm. Based on our simulations, no frost kill damages are expected between now and the end of January.

Observed Temperatures

Since 11 December, weather conditions were colder than usual in eastern Europe. On the contrary, western Europe experienced higher temperatures than the long-term average (L TA}. The positive thermal anomaly was especially evident in France, Germany, the Benelux countries and the Czech Republic, where the delay in crop development due to late sowing or unfavourable autumn weather was diminished. The mild weather slowed down the hardening process of winter cereals in this region, maintaining crop vulnerability.

The second dekad of December began with a cold snap across Europe, but from mid-December onwards perceptible warming started from the direction of the Atlantic Ocean and temperatures fluctuated above the average in the western part of the continent. On occasion, the daily maximum almost reached record temperatures. While western Europe experienced mild conditions, the European part of Russia was subject to very cold weather, but conditions in this area also became milder towards the end of December. January started with anomalous high temperatures over Europe. The temperatures generally exceeded the LTA by 2 - 8°C with the exception of the Iberian Peninsula, the Black Sea Region and the easternmost parts of Russia. An inflow of cold arctic air started from 7 January, significantly decreasing temperatures initially in the eastern and later in the western parts of Europe.

In general, frost events remained in the moderate range (>- l0°C) in the lowlands of the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy and Greece. However, in the eastern countries of EU-27, Ukraine, Belarus and Turkey the temperatures fell to between -10 and -20°C, and temperatures of less than -20°C were recorded in the very eastern and northern parts of Europe. Only the south-western region of I re land, the shore of the Iberian Peninsula, and some coastal area of Italy and Greece, the southern Islands of the Mediterranean Sea and North-Africa remained frost free.

Observed Rainfall and Snow Cover

Precipitation was abundant and exceeded 100 mm in the Atlantic region including the British Isles, France, Germany, Denmark, southern Noiway, the north-western Iberian Peninsula and the Alpine region. The extremely wet weather conditions experienced since the end of September presumably caused problems during sowing and early crop development in England.

Precipitation was also abundant in the eastern Adriatic, the areas surrounding the Aegean Sea, Turkey, along the eastern coastline of the Mediterranean Ocean and in the Caucasus.

On the contrary, precipitation was scarce in Spain, central Italy, Sicily, the western half of Romania, the Maghreb countries and extended territories of Russia, where precipitation was less than half of the LT A. The dry weather led to favourable sowing conditions in Spain, but significant precipitation is needed in the near future t o replenish the soil moisture storage for the next crop cycle.

In mid-December, snow covered Scandinavia and an extended area between eastern France and the Ural Mountains, including most of the Balkan Peninsula and Turkey. Due to the mild weather of December and early January the snow cover melted and disappeared from lowlands of western and central Europe. After 5 January snow cover was gradually re-established from eastern border of the EU to eastern half of France.

Winter crops are fully or almost fully hardened in the northern agricultural zones of Europe as well as in the region from Poland to Romania and further eastwards including Belarus, Ukraine and Russia with the exception of smaller regions close to the Black Sea. Given the medium-range weather forecast until 28 January, the frost tolerance of winter crops is expected to increase significantly in Germany and on the Balkan Peninsula. On the basis of our frost-kill model, no frost damages have been simulated or are expected between now and the end of January.

Weather Forecast for the Coming Days 16 January - 28 January

Cold weather with less precipitation is forecast for southern Europe, and warmer than average northern and central Europe, abundant precipitation in temperatures in regions around Black Sea.

Precipitation Forecast

Low pressure systems over the Atlantic and almost daily basis during the forecast period. Locally, Mediterranean will dominate the weather over western and southern Europe. Abundant precipitation is therefore forecast for western and northern parts of the Iberian Peninsula, Italy, the western parts of the Balkan Peninsula and western Turkey. In these regions, significant precipitation is expected to occur on an almost daily basis during the forecast period. Locally, the total amount of precipitation could exceed the longterm average by more than 150 mm. Very scarce precipitation is expected in northern and north-eastern Europe, northern Germany, northern France, the Baltic countries, Benelux and eastern Turkey.

Temperature Forecast

Warmer-than-average conditions are forecast for the Balkan Peninsula and regions around the Black Sea. Average daily air temperatures over coastal regions around the Black Sea are expected to exceed the long-term average by 4-8 • C. Consequently, the cumulated active temperature (Tbase=O °C) could exceed the longterm average by more than 50 growing degree days . Other parts of Europe will experience colder-thanaverage conditions. The strongest temperature anomaly is expected in the Baltic countries, western Russia, northern Poland, southern Scandinavia and the Benelux countries. More than six cold days with minimum air temperatures of less than -18 • C are expected to occur over parts of north and north-eastern Europe. In the next few days and at the end of the forecast period, the minimum temperature is expected to drop below -18 'C in parts of central Europe (southern Germany, the Czech Republic, and Poland)

January 2013

Source: MARS BULLETIN – EC - JRC

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