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Europe Mars Bulletins


26 March 2013

Europe Mars Bulletins Vol. 21 No. 13Europe Mars Bulletins Vol. 21 No. 13


Supplied by: MARS BULLETIN – EC - JRC

Generally colder-than-seasonal conditions prevailed from January to February in Europe, except in Spain and in the Black Sea area. During this period there was plenty of rain over Europe, with the exception of Russia, Scandinavia and the Iberian Peninsula, where below average rainfall was recorded. Abundant precipitation (>300 mm) occurred in the western British Isles, western France and further along the north-western shore of the Iberian Peninsula, the western parts of the Apennine and Balkan Peninsulas, and in western Turkey. During March so far daily mean air temperatures were lower than the long-term average by 1-4°C in the majority of central and western Europe. Higher than usual temperatures were recorded over the Balkans and regions around the Black Sea.

The cold spell after 8 March caused a significant drop in air temperatures over the major part of central, western and northern Europe slowing down crop development. Above-average precipitation was recorded in the Mediterranean region, Balkan Peninsula and part of eastern Europe. Drier-than-usual weather conditions occurred in France, part of the Benelux countries, Denmark, northern Poland, the Baltic countries, southern Scandinavia and part of British Isles. Snow covered most of central, northern and eastern Europe. To date, no frost-kill damage has been simulated for EU-27 during the period of review, thanks to light frost events and sufficient snow cover. So far fair wintering conditions suggest good yield potentials but the impact of the continued cold spells in central Europe needs to be closely monitored.

Agro-meteorological Overview

Winter 2012/2013 (December – February)

Generally colder-than-seasonal conditions prevailed from January to February in Europe, except in Spain and in the Black Sea area. At the end of February the cumulated active temperature was below the long-term average (100 GGD) was recorded surrounding areas of Black Sea, mainly in Turkey. During this period there was plenty of rain over Europe, with the exception of Russia, Scandinavia and the Iberian Peninsula, where below average rainfall was recorded. Abundant precipitation (>300 mm) occurred in the western British Isles, western France and further along the north-western shore of the Iberian Peninsula, the western parts of the Apennine and Balkan Peninsulas, and in western Turkey. No frost-kill damage was recorded during the period of review, thanks to light frost events and sufficient snow cover.

Observed Temperatures

In December, weather conditions were colder than usual in eastern Europe. Minimum temperatures fell below -12°C between the Baltic and Adriatic Seas, and even below -20°C in the very eastern and northern areas of Europe (mainly in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Romania and Poland).

On the contrary, western Europe experienced higher temperatures than the long-term average, and the southern coastline of the Atlantic and the Mediterranean Sea remained frost free. The positive thermal anomaly was especially evident in France, Germany and the Benelux countries, diminishing the delay in crop development due to late sowing or unfavourable autumn weather conditions. The cumulated active temperatures indicated a surplus of +50 to +80 GDD in northern and central France, southern Germany and Turkey. The cumulated active temperatures indicated a surplus between 20 and 50 GDD in northern and western France, eastern Spain, and Turkey.

January started with anomalous high temperatures over Europe. During the first dekad the temperatures characteristically exceeded the long-term average by +2 to +8°C with the exception of the Iberian Peninsula, the Black Sea Region and the very eastern part of Russia. For 10 days starting in mid-January, below-average temperatures were recorded in a wide belt stretching from France and the British Isles to the Ural Mountains, interrupted by a pronounced warm spell. During this month near-normal thermal conditions were experienced in the basin of the Mediterranean Sea and in the areas around the Black Sea. In general, frost events remained moderate (<-10°C) in the lowlands of the UK, France, Germany and Greece, although minimum temperatures ranged between -10 and -20°C in the eastern countries of EU-27. In the last days of January and early February, unusually intense positive thermal anomalies were detected over the whole of Europe. On the warmest days, the daily maximum temperatures exceeded +10°C in France, Germany, the Benelux countries, and most of England and central Europe, and temperatures reached between +15 and +20°C in the Balkan Peninsula and in the Mediterranean Basin. From 5 to 16 February, cold air flooded the western half of Europe and caused considerable cooling, leading to air temperatures dropping below average again. During this period, daily temperatures remained 2-4°C below the long-term average in western Scandinavia, Germany, eastern France, the Alpine region, southern Italy and most of the Maghreb countries. In these regions minimum temperatures were 4-6?C lower than long-term average. During the two last weeks of February, the mean daily temperature was 1-6?C colder than the long-term average in Germany, France, northern Italy, the UK, Ireland, Spain, Portugal and the Maghreb countries. On the contrary, the eastern half of Europe and especially Scandinavia experienced a positive thermal anomaly (+ 4–6?C). The number of cold days in February was 5 days greater than long-term average in Germany, France, northern Italy, the UK, Ireland, Denmark, southern Sweden and Castilla y León region (Spain). During this month in France the cumulated active temperature was well below the long-term average (-50 to -80 GDD), with a possible delay on the phenological development. By contrast, the temperature accumulation was above average in Turkey. Other regions of eastern Europe experienced seasonal temperatures and a normal temperature accumulation.

Observed Rainfall and Snow Cover

In December, rainfall was plentiful and exceeded 100 mm in the Atlantic region including the British Isles, France, Germany, Denmark, southern Norway, the north western Iberian Peninsula and the Alpine regions. Precipitation was also above the long-term average in the eastern Adriatic and in the surrounding areas of the Aegean Sea, just as in Turkey, along the eastern coastline of the Mediterranean Sea and in the Caucasus. In some regions of Ukraine and Romania the precipitation amount was 100% above average On the contrary, precipitation was scarce in Spain, central Italy and Sicily, the western half of Romania as well as in the Maghreb countries and extended territories of Russia. During this month snow covered Scandinavia and an extended area between eastern France and the Ural Mountains, including most of the Balkan Peninsula and Turkey.

In January frequent and abundant precipitation (>150 mm) occurred in the western British Isles, south-western France and further along the north-western shore of the Iberian Peninsula, the western parts of the Apennine and Balkan Peninsulas, and in western Turkey. Rainfall was also more than 50% above average in Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, western Ukraine, eastern Romania and some areas of the Balkan Peninsula. From mid-January, snow covered the majority of the continent with the exception of southern Europe. In late January, the snow cover started to melt and even disappeared in several areas. After a persistent dry period, the abundant rainfall experienced in the second dekad of January favourably increased the soil moisture content in Spain. Abundant precipitation (> 60 mm) also cumulated in the Iberian Peninsula during February. During this month, significant precipitation also occurred in the western half of the Balkan Peninsula, Italy, Turkey and the Maghreb.

Rainfall was more than 80% above the long-term average in the Balkan Peninsula, Bulgaria, Slovakia, southern and western Romania, Italy and northern Spain. On the contrary, below-average rainfall was recorded in large areas of eastern Ukraine and Russia, Sweden and southern Norway, Denmark and in the British Isles. Snow cover partially recovered by mid-February, with the snowfall that occurred during the renewed cold spell.

Agro-meteorological Overview (21 February – 17 March)

During the period from 21 February to 17 March 2013, daily mean air temperatures were lower than the long-term average by 1-4°C in the majority of central and western Europe. Higher than usual temperatures were recorded during the same period over the Balkans and regions around the Black Sea. The cold spell after 8 March caused a significant drop in air temperatures over the major part of central, western and northern Europe. Above-average precipitation was recorded in the Mediterranean region, Balkan Peninsula and part of eastern Europe. Drier-than-usual weather conditions occurred in France, part of the Benelux countries, Denmark, northern Poland, the Baltic countries, southern Scandinavia and part of British Isles. Snow covered most of central, northern and eastern Europe. To date, no frost-kill damage has been simulated for EU-27.

Observed Temperatures

Considering the whole period from 21 February until 17 March, weather conditions were colder than usual in western, central and northeastern parts of Europe. Active temperature sums, up to 80 growing degree days lower-than-usual, were recorded over the major part of western Europe, Germany, Poland and northwestern part of Italy. On the contrary, higher-than-usual temperatures were recorded over the Balkan Peninsula and regions around the Black Sea. The strong positive thermal anomaly in these regions contributed to an increased temperature sum, which regionally exceeded the long-term average by more than 80 growing degree days. The development of winter crops is delayed due to the colder weather conditions in France, England, the Benelux countries, Germany, Poland, northern Europe, the western part of Ukraine and northern Romania. Advanced development stages have been achieved in regions around the Black Sea, especially in Russia and Turkey.

The period between 21 February and the end of February was characterised by significantly colder weather conditions over France, England, the Benelux countries, Germany and part of Russia. Negative temperature anomalies of up to 6°C were recorded in Germany and of up to 8°C in the central part of France. Warmer-than-usual conditions were recorded in the northern Scandinavia and regions around the Black Sea. A period with milder conditions over major agricultural production areas followed in the first week of March. Colder-than-usual conditions were recorded in the northeastern part of the Europe, whereas other parts of Europe experienced slightly warmer-than-usual conditions. After 8 March, a high pressure system over northern Europe caused a flow of cold air from northeast Europe to the central and western parts of Europe. Consequently, this was the coldest period over a major part of Europe after 21 February. Average daily temperatures dropped below the long-term average by more than 12°C over parts of Poland and Germany. Minimum daily temperatures of less than -18°C occurred in parts of northern Poland, the Baltic countries and northern Europe. Minimum temperatures of between -10°C and -15°C were recorded in other parts of central Europe, the Benelux countries, northern France, Romania and the western Balkans.

No frost-kill events were recorded according to our simulations. Winter crops in eastern Germany, the Czech Republic, Poland, and northern and eastern Europe were fully hardened during the cold spell. In addition, snow covered a major part of central, eastern and northern Europe as well as France and parts of England, protecting winter crops against frost impact.

Observed Rainfall and Snow Cover

Above-average precipitation occurred in the Mediterranean region, the Balkan Peninsula and parts of eastern Europe. Precipitation exceeded the long-term average by more than 100 mm in the southern part of the Iberian Peninsula, northern Italy, the western Balkans and the Atlantic coast of Scandinavia. Lower-than-usual precipitation occurred in major parts of France, the Benelux countries, Denmark, northern Poland, the Baltic countries, southern Scandinavia and the northwestern part of the British Isles.

The period between 21 February and the end of the February was characterised by mostly dry conditions over the northern part of Germany and Poland, France, the Benelux countries, the British Isles, and northern and eastern parts of the Europe. Wetter-than-normal conditions prevailed over the Iberian Peninsula, Italy, the Balkan Peninsula and southern parts of central Europe. In the following period at the beginning of the March, a major part of central Europe, eastern Europe and the Balkan Peninsula remained dry. Wet conditions continued over the western Mediterranean. Abundant precipitation over that area favourably increased the soil moisture content. After 8 March, northern Europe and parts of central Europe experienced mostly dry and normal precipitation conditions, respectively. Wet conditions continued over the western Mediterranean region.

With the exception of southern Europe, the majority of the continent was covered by snow during the period of review.

Weather Forecast for the Coming Days 21 March – 30 March

Cold weather is expected in most parts of Europe with the highest negative temperature anomalies occurring in central and eastern Europe and the northern parts of the Balkan Peninsula. Warmer-than-usual temperatures are expected in the eastern Black Sea regions. Dry conditions are forecast over central, northern and north-eastern Europe, whereas above-average precipitation conditions are expected over the Mediterranean region, the Balkan Peninsula, Ukraine and a part of Russia.

Precipitation Forecast

A large anticyclone is forecast to extend from Greenland to the Norwegian Sea during the coming days. A second high pressure system will develop over Scandinavia, affecting the weather in northern, north-eastern and central Europe and northern France and the Benelux countries. Very scarce precipitation is therefore expected over these regions during the forecast period. A complex low pressure system south-west of the UK will affect the weather in western Europe, bringing above-average precipitation especially to the western Mediterranean region. Abundant precipitation is forecast over the north-western Iberian Peninsula, where the total amount of precipitation may exceed 150 mm. A series of low-pressure systems will affect the weather over the Mediterranean region, the Balkan Peninsula and regions north of the Black Sea. Above-average precipitation is expected to occur over northern and southern Italy, Greece, the Balkan Peninsula, western Turkey, major parts of Ukraine and a part of Russia, north of Ukraine. Abundant precipitation, locally exceeding 100 mm, is expected over the western part of Greece and the west coast of Turkey.

Temperature Forecast

Colder-than-usual conditions are expected in major parts of Europe. The strongest negative temperature anomaly is forecast over central Europe (especially in northern Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary), the northern part of the Balkan Peninsula, western Ukraine, Belarus, the Baltic countries, southern Scandinavia and a part of Russia. The average daily temperature in these regions is expected to drop more than 8?C below the long-term average. Minimum daily air temperatures below -15?C are expected especially in eastern Germany, Poland and parts of eastern and northern Europe. Less pronounced negative temperature anomalies are expected in southern Europe. Lower-than-usual cumulated active temperatures (Tbase=0?C) are forecast over the central and western Europe and northern part of the Balkan Peninsula, leading to a slowing of crop development. Cumulated active temperatures up to 80 GDD lower than average are projected especially in northern France, the British Isles, the Benelux countries, Germany, Croatia, Hungary, Serbia and Romania. More than six cold days with minimum daily air temperatures of below -8?C are likely in eastern Germany, Poland, parts of eastern Europe and northern Europe.

On the contrary, higher-than-usual temperatures are expected in the eastern and southern Black Sea regions, with average daily temperatures exceeding the long-term average by 2-4?C.

Winter crops will remain fully hardened in northern Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, eastern Europe (except for regions near the Black Sea) and northern Europe. No frost kill is therefore expected during the forecast period according to our simulations.

 

March 2013

Source: MARS BULLETIN – EC - JRC

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