Volume 101, No. 13, Weather April 1, 2014, full report here.
Unseasonably warm, dry conditions were followed by sharply colder weather by week’s end.
A strong area of high pressure maintained unusually warm weather over the region; temperatures averaged up to 10°C above normal in Belarus, 7°C above normal in Ukraine, and 8°C above normal in western Russia.
Daytime highs topped 20°C from central Belarus southeastward into Ukraine and southern portions of Russia’s Southern District, which continued to foster a faster-than-normal pace of winter crop development.
However, the sunny skies and unseasonable warmth also increased water demands and further reduced soil moisture for winter wheat and rapeseed, especially in central and northern Ukraine.
By week’s end, a strong cold front was accompanied by light to moderate showers (2-13 mm) across southern portions of Ukraine and Russia.
Behind the front, temperatures dropped as low as -4°C in the more advanced southern growing areas, though wheat had not yet reached the temperature-sensitive jointing stages of development.
Therefore, little - if any - widespread impact is expected from this week’s freeze.