Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Latest USDA weather update for western FSU

Warmer, wetter weather expanded over the region following a brief cold snap at the end of March.

A warm, southerly flow prevailed for much of the week, with temperatures averaging 2 to 6°C above normal from Belarus and western Ukraine into central Russia.

The return of warmer weather allowed winter grains to resume adding vegetative growth, particularly from southern Ukraine into Russia’s Southern and North Caucasus Districts.

In addition, widespread light to moderate rain (2-35 mm) in these southern areas sustained good to excellent soil moisture for crop growth, though winter wheat areas in central and southern Ukraine continued to exhibit poor vegetation health (as depicted in satellite imagery) due to a severe autumn drought.

Meanwhile, rain and late-week snow (10-50 mm liquid equivalent) sustained abundant moisture reserves for spring growth from Belarus into Russia’s Volga District.

At week’s end, a cold front ushered cooler weather back into the region, though there were no concerns for a damaging hard freeze.