Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Latest USDA weather update for Europe

A broad area of high pressure maintained dry albeit cold weather over much of the continent, though a stationary storm system brought heavy rain to some Mediterranean coastal locales.

Precipitation over Europe’s primary winter crop areas was light (less than 5 mm), though somewhat heavier showers (10 mm or more) were reported in northern France and England.

Winter crops over central and northern Europe were dormant, with a shallow to moderate snowpack (2-20 cm) prevalent from Germany into Poland and the Balkans.

However, snow cover remained patchy and shallow (2 cm or less) in the northern Danube River Valley, though these areas were spared any additional damaging freezes during the past week.

Farther south, temperatures up to 4°C below normal slowed the development of vegetative winter wheat and barley from the Iberian Peninsula into Italy.

In northwestern Spain, readings locally at or below -10°C may have caused some localized burnback or freeze damage.

More importantly, short term drought continued to adversely impact crop development in northwestern Spain (Castilla y León), where 60-day precipitation has totaled less than 50 percent of normal.

In contrast, crop prospects across the remainder of the Iberian Peninsula remained favorable due to heavy late-autumn rainfall.

Meanwhile, a stationary storm system over the central Mediterranean Sea triggered moderate to heavy rain (25-130 mm, locally more) from southeastern Spain into Greece, causing localized flooding and hampering citrus harvesting.