Luxembourg experienced some pretty extreme weather throughout 2018. The statistics released by the Administration of Technical Agricultural Services (ASTA)'s agro-meteorological weather service have confirmed the turbulent nature of 2018's weather.
Both the extremely dry summer and the irregular rainfall in the country had a major impact on Luxembourg's agriculture, as reflected in the harvests of various fruits and vegetables. But how exactly did the 2018 meteorological conditions affect the Luxembourg's weather?
After the hot and dry summer, some may have forgotten the extreme floods that occurred in June. The autumn was sunny and quite mild and as for winter, we're still waiting for the real thing to kick in.
According to Dr Andrew Ferrone, the head of ASTA's meteorological service, the weather seems to be acting quite crazy and unpredictable. Ferrone went on to state that human contribution is undeniable.
In order to analyse weather patterns, ASTA uses a network of 32 weather stations distributed throughout the country. The statistics of 2018 predominantly compared the stations in Asselborn, Clemency, Remich, and Grevenmacher. These numbers were then compared to the average data collected during the period 1981-2010.
The total amount of rainfall throughout 2018 remained relatively constant as compared to previous years, but its distribution was irregular, to say the least. We had long dry periods during the summer and autumn months, whereas extremely important amounts of rainfall were registered in January, June, and December.
The statistics reveal that July was the driest month of the year. In the Moselle valley, only 4-6 millimetres of rain fell during the whole month, which, paired with high temperatures, caused the ground to dry out. This led to flooding the following month due to localised strong rainfall in Grevenmacher.
Grevenmacher also experienced the highest temperature anomaly, namely 1.9 degrees Celsius higher than usual. As for the water levels, Grevenmacher and Remich experienced a record low in July.
The evaporation levels in 2018 were higher than the amount of rainfall, which could also have repercussions on drinking water sources.
Ferrone did however highlight that there is no need for exaggerated conclusions, as climate developments can not be analysed over the course of a single year, instead requiring a longer period of analysis for any conclusions.