The first MARS crop monitoring in Europe Bulletin of 2013, Vol. 21 No. 1, has just been published. It reports that the hardening of European winter crops is well advanced, and predicts no frost kill damage before February. Above-average temperatures and precipitation were recorded in western Europe from mid-December 2012, while eastern regions were colder than usual and precipitation was rather scarce in the Iberian Peninsula, Maghreb and Sicily.
The second dekad of December began with a cold snap across Europe, but a warm front moving in from the Atlantic in mid-December led to above-average temperature fluctuations in western Europe. Very cold weather conditions persisted in eastern Europe until the end of December. A cold spell from the arctic brought significantly colder air to the whole of Europe in early January, when almost all regions were affected by frost events.
Very wet weather conditions were experienced in western and much of central Europe, while precipitation was less than half the average amount in much of southern and eastern Europe. Much of Europe experienced snow cover during the period of review, particularly northern and eastern Europe. Winter hardening has progressed well especially in northern and much of eastern Europe, and no frost damage is foreseen for January.
The forecast to the end of January is for cold weather with less precipitation in northern and central Europe, abundant precipitation in southern Europe, and warmer than average temperatures in regions around Black Sea. More than six cold days with minimum air temperatures of less than -18˚C are expected to occur over parts of north and northeastern Europe. In the next few days and at the end of the forecast period, the minimum temperature is expected to drop below -18˚C in parts of central Europe (southern Germany, the Czech Republic, and Poland).