Rain and snow over Ukraine and western Russia boosted soil moisture reserves for dormant winter crops, while warm, wet weather kept southern wheat areas devoid of snow cover.
Widespread rain and snow (5-25 mm liquid equivalent, locally more) across Ukraine and central Russia further improved moisture reserves for dormant winter wheat following a pronounced autumn drought.
Snow fell from north-central Ukraine into central Russia, with depths averaging 5 to 15 cm in northern Ukraine to more than 25 cm over much of western and central Russia.
The snow pack afforded sufficient protection from potential winter kill in the southern Volga District, where night time readings dipped below -20°C.
In contrast, continuing warmth (highs of 10-15°C) in south western Russia along with variable showers (3-25 mm) kept winter wheat devoid of a protective snow pack and continued to reduce crop cold hardiness.
However, the warmth minimized the risk for winter kill during the period.