Temperatures during the period averaged 5 to 8°C above normal from Germany into Poland and the Balkans, accelerating winter wheat and rapeseed out of dormancy 2 to 4 weeks ahead of average.
The early winter crop greening has heightened the need for moisture across much of southeastern Europe following a drier-than-normal winter.
In contrast, moderate to heavy rain (15-70 mm) improved soil moisture for vegetative winter wheat in France, while lighter showers (4-50 mm) improved topsoil moisture for winter crops in Germany.
Likewise, moderate to heavy rain (10-50 mm, locally more) in the United Kingdom benefited early-developing winter crops, while lighter, variable shower activity (2-44 mm) in Spain was generally beneficial for vegetative wheat and barley.
Warmer-than-normal weather (1-4°C above normal) in England, France, and northern Spain encouraged a rapid winter crop development pace but left wheat and rapeseed in typically colder northern growing areas more vulnerable to any potential late-season hard freezes.