Rain and snow eliminated the vestiges of autumn drought in Ukraine and west-central Russia, while warm, rainy weather favoured winter wheat development in southern Russia.
A pair of disturbances produced moderate to heavy rain and snow (10-45 mm liquid equivalent) from central Ukraine into Russia’s Central District.
Due to the recent month-long spell of wet weather, most of the region’s lingering 90-day deficits have been eradicated.
The precipitation provided additional moisture for late winter wheat establishment in the still vegetative southern growing areas.
However, even with warmer-than-normal weather for the week (2-5°C above normal), weekly average temperatures below 5°C (the threshold for dormancy) encompassed northeastern Ukraine and the northern and central Southern District.
In addition, a shallow to moderate snow cover (2-15 cm) was on the ground from northern Ukraine into Russia’s Volga District, though increasing warmth began to erode the snow by week’s end.
Consequently, the late-autumn rainfall may not have been in time to ensure proper winter wheat establishment in the aforementioned drought areas, leaving crops particularly vulnerable to the region’s often harsh winter weather.
Meanwhile, winter wheat in southern Russia developed favourably with renewed shower activity (10-45 mm) and temperatures up to 4°C above normal.