April Cold Blast Across Central Europe Brings Unexpected Widespread Crop Damage

Official weather offices report that April mean temperatures were colder than normal across Central Europe.

Germany

According to the preliminary results for April, 2017, from Germany’s DWD national weather service, the month came in at a mean temperature of 7.5°C for the central European country, or 0.8°C colder than the 1981-2010 mean of 8.3°C. This makes the month completely NOT in line with the warming that Germany’s DWD expects.

After a record warm March, the DWD wrote in its March report that it was all expected as part of climate change. For April they made no mention of global warming, citing weather patterns.

The DWD wrote that in April “drought, snow and reoccurring frosts” placed a “considerable burden on the the plant world“. In the southern Black Forest region, especially in Singen and Buchenbach, new record lows were set for April. Nationwide April’s low temperature was set in Oberstdorf: -10.1 °C.

Austria

Meanwhile Alps-dominated of Austria saw it’s coldest April in 9 years – and the coldest in the current decade, according to the preliminary April results form the Austrian ZAMG national weather service.

New cold temperature records for the second half of April were set at the airports in Graz and Innsbruck at -5.5 °C and -4.4 °C respectively.

“Extreme” snow amounts

Although frosty temperatures and snow are not unusual in April, the ZAMG writes that the new snow amounts on April 19 and 20 were in part very unusual, especially in the area im Gebiet of the Ybbstaler Alps and extending to the Wienerwald. For example in Lunz am See (612 m) it snowed 65 cm within 24 hours. That would be an extremely high value even for an entire winter month. On April 20 there was 86 cm of snow on the ground in Lunz am See. This has never happened in the second half of April since measurements began in 1896.

The ZAMG reports that the severe late April cold snap caused “widespread frost damage” to many fruit plants.

Switzerland, Italy

Meteo Suisse has not yet released it’s preliminary April report, as this is done typically around the 10th of the following month. But media reports show that the late April cold and frost did not spare Switzerland or northern Italy.

Bitter cold and crop destruction occurred in hard hit Switzerland. According to the online NZZ here, as a cold wave in the second half of April “caused great damage to fruit and vineyards in large parts of Switzerland“.

“Nightmare” for Italian vineyards

The cold wave also hit Italy’s farmers at a bad time, the NZZ reports, as some regions saw temperatures fall below zero and was accompanied by by icy winds. Frost destroyed the early white budding grape varieties such as the Chardonnay, Sauvignon and Pinot grigio. Also red grape sorts such as Cabernet and Merlot were hit, the NZZ reports.

The NZZ characterized the the vineyard damage as dramatic in the regions of Val d’Aosta and Friuli Venezia Giulia, where it reports that “many crops froze”.

In Piemont foremost in the region around Asti and Barolo there was heavy damage. In Lombardy the provinces of Padua, Mantua and Modena are hard hit.”

Here in the Lower Saxony flatlands of northern Germany, I had to keep sensitive garden plants covered overnight on at least 4 occasions over the second half of April.

 

45 responses to “April Cold Blast Across Central Europe Brings Unexpected Widespread Crop Damage”

  1. tom0mason

    The weather is not good for grape vines currently but just one year ago vine growers were being warned of the weather becoming too hot. https://vinepair.com/wine-blog/climate-change-sours-grapes-for-some-but-new-yorks-future-looks-pretty-sweet/
    How is it that last year NO weather/climate model (that I’m aware of) could predict this cold snap?

    If the short term is so hard to predict, and many of the perceived major variables were known, how inaccurate are the models for any long term variation? Modeled projections and predictions of future climates I expect to be as inaccurate as they have always been for any long-range weather forecast, i.e. it’s just guesswork from the deluded.

    1. SebastianH

      Forecasts over large periods of time are often easier than over short timeframes, e.g. we can predict that humans have more health problems when they are older, but we can not accurately predict at what time a single person will have a specific health problem.

      Or we can predict that the number of transistors per area will double every 18 months, but nobody could predict what specific CPU design will be invented at what time.

      We can also pretty accurately predict when an object that is dropped from a certain height will hit the surface, but we can not predict the exact motion (especially rotations) while it falls.

      1. AndyG55

        “Forecasts over large periods of time are often easier than over short timeframes”

        roflmao…

        Another child-minded comment from seb,

        and a continued load of totally unrelated yapping.

        Well done seb.. you are living down to your standards.

      2. tom0mason

        Nice distraction of memes.

        “we can predict that humans have more health problems when they are older, but we can not accurately predict at what time a single person will have a specific health problem.”

        We know the ultimate end of all individual — they will die.
        However unlike climate we have millions of individuals to test and assess for what ills them and make reasonable predictions of what may cause problems later by using this information from these many samples.

        With this one and only planet and its climate we have just one sample and nothing to compare it to.
        Our knowledge of all the variables and feedbacks that affect the climate are not in a state where reasonable predictions can be made, as shown by the poor results of the climate models.
        Currently we know we are between glaciation events therefore soon there is likely to be a massive cooling event. Some of these coolings we know have been quite rapid.

        “Or we can predict that the number of transistors per area will double every 18 months, but nobody could predict what specific CPU design will be invented at what time.”

        Irrelevant to the argument!

        We can also pretty accurately predict when an object that is dropped from a certain height will hit the surface, but we can not predict the exact motion (especially rotations) while it falls.

        Sure! Now try the same trick with a few thousand loosely coupled variable affecting the object and it’s flight path.

        Maybe you can solve the double pendulum chaotic motion conundrum, whereby a double pendulum is already in motion and you have to predict it’s path to the nearest thousandth of a mm every second. The basics are here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_pendulum.
        That is a simple problem of a chaotic system with all variables known but if you start your observations at an unknown arbitrary time you’ll have difficulty accurately predicting the motion, unless you have a supercomputer and a fair amount of time.

        Climate is also a chaotic system, it has many, possibly millions, of variables, many are loosely coupled, most are a feedback mechanisms of some type. declaring that projections/prediction from the climate models can in anyway accurate is pure BS!

        1. Kenneth Richard

          SebastianH: “Or we can predict that the number of transistors per area will double every 18 months, but nobody could predict what specific CPU design will be invented at what time.”

          tom0mason: “Irrelevant to the argument!

          Yeah, that happens a lot with SebastianH’s “analogies”.

          1. tom0mason

            Because as Mark Twain said,
            “Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities.
            Truth isn’t.”

          2. sod

            ““Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities.
            Truth isn’t.””

            The simple truth is, March was much too hot, April was pretty normal.

            But facts just do not matter to “sceptics”.

          3. AndyG55

            “March was much too hot”

            I notice you haven’t answered.

            Were you outside in shorts and t-shirt..

            or snuggled up inside with the fossil fuel heater going?

            Seems you are a COWARD in answering questions, as well as a base-level fantasist and LIAR.

          4. AndyG55

            Oh dearie me..

            long term German temperatures with UHI correction

            http://notrickszone.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Temperature-Germany-120-years-with-UHI-correction_Kowatsch.gif

            March was only above the recent COLD period on which your AGW scam data is based.

            REALITY says .. NOTHING UNUSUAL.

            Sob, the clueless CLIMATE DENIER, strikes again.

          5. AndyG55

            But facts just do not matter to.. sob-sob.

            sob-sob DENIES facts.

          6. AndyG55

            now calling you sob-sob…

            ..because you continue to act and cry like a little child. !

          7. AndyG55

            and look at this graph.

            http://notrickszone.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Temperature-Germany-120-years-with-UHI-correction_Kowatsch.gif#sthash.7AhgUzPG.dpuf

            Average temperature around 8ºC …

            and you are COMPLAINING about a tiny amount of extra warmth.

            You really have got sludge for brains, sob-sob.

          8. tom0mason

            sod,
            FYI —
            Forecasting global climate change: A scientific approach
            Kesten C. Green University of South Australia and Ehrenberg-Bass Institute, Australia
            J. Scott Armstrong University of Pennsylvania, U.S.A, and Ehrenberg-Bass Institute, Australia

            Working Paper – June 2014
            Subsequently published as “Forecasting Global Climate Change” in Climate Change: The Facts 2014. Alan Moran (Editor). Published by the Institute of Public Affairs, Melbourne, Victoria 3000, Australia

            Abstract
            The Golden Rule of Forecasting requires that forecasters be conservative by making proper use of cumulative knowledge and by not going beyond that knowledge. The procedures that have been used to forecast dangerous manmade global warming violate the Golden Rule. Following the scientific method, we investigated competing hypotheses on climate change in an objective way.
            To do this, we tested the predictive validity of the global warming hypothesis (+0.03°C per year with increasing CO2) against a relatively conservative global cooling hypothesis of -0.01°C per year, and against the even more conservative simple no-change or persistence hypothesis (0.0°C per year).
            The errors of forecasts from the global warming hypothesis for horizons 11 to 100 years ahead over the period 1851 to 1975 were nearly four times larger than those from the global cooling hypothesis and about eight times larger than those from the persistence hypothesis. Findings from our tests using the latest data and other data covering a period of nearly 2,000 years support the predictive validity of the persistence hypothesis for horizons from one year to centuries ahead.
            To investigate whether the current alarm over global temperatures is exceptional, we employed the method of structured analogies. Our search for analogies found that environmental alarms are a common social phenomenon, with 26 similar situations over a period of two hundred years. None were the product of scientific forecasting procedures, and in all cases the alarming forecasts were wrong. Twenty-three of the alarms led to government actions. The government actions were harmful in 20 cases, and of no benefit in any.

      3. Mindert Eiting

        Seb, you are right. The long term predictions are easier because they are not very specific (like a global mean). I can predict with a bit of confidence that the temperature in my city after a century will be between minus and plus one hundred Celsius, unless an asteroid strikes. Consequently, the model predictions are no more than a spaghetti bundle of means depending on sensitivity assumptions. Almost all of them failed on the basis of their means alone. Therefore, the sensitivity assumptions are not real.

        1. sod

          ” I can predict with a bit of confidence that the temperature in my city after a century will be between minus and plus one hundred Celsius, unless an asteroid strikes.”

          this is a horrible example and it shows total lack of understanding of the subject.

          I can also promise to you, that weather tomorrow will be between- 100°C and +100°C.

          The real difference is, that the “averaged” data contains more information than the daily up and down. One is noise, the other is information (on climate).

          1. Mindert Eiting

            A frequency distribution is determined by all his moments. The mean is the first moment and contains therefore less information than the distribution. I tried to tell that the probability of a correct prediction depends on the band width.

  2. AlecM

    Well, who’d have thought this possible?

  3. Kenneth Richard

    When it’s cold, it’s just weather, though.

    https://phys.org/news/2016-11-french-wine-harvest-smallest-years.html#nRlv
    French wine harvest among smallest for 30 years

    https://www.sott.net/article/349161-Hard-freeze-kills-95-to-100-percent-of-Frances-Alsace-vineyard-buds
    Hard freeze kills 95 to 100 percent of France’s Alsace vineyard buds

  4. Coeur de Lion

    The Maunder Minimum is on its way

    1. sod

      no.

      1. AndyG55

        correct, its what the planet has been struggling to climb out of…

        … with only very marginal success.

        Nowhere NEAR the MWP or Holocene optimum.

        Right, sob-sob !

  5. sod

    “After a record warm March, the DWD wrote in its March report that it was all expected as part of climate change. For April they made no mention of global warming, citing weather patterns.”

    sorry, but march and april were completely different things.

    April basically was a normal month, with a couple of pretty cold days towards te end:

    “Die Durchschnittstemperatur im April 2017 entsprach mit 7,5 Grad Celsius (°C) fast genau dem Soll der international gültigen Referenzperiode 1961 bis 1990 von 7,4 °C. Gegenüber der Vergleichsperiode 1981 bis 2010 betrug die Abweichung -0,8 Grad.”

    http://www.dwd.de/DE/presse/pressemitteilungen/pressemitteilungen_node.html

    On the other hand, march 2017 was completely out of the normal range: hottest march since measurements began and 3.7°C (3.7°C!!!!!) warmer than normal (that is an extra 3°C over the 0.8°C difference that you have tricked into april, by looking at a strange “normal” period)

    “Die Dominanz der durchweg frühlingshaften Phasen führte in Deutschland mit einem Monatsmittel von rund 7,2 Grad Celsius (°C) zum wärmsten März seit 1881, nach 1938 und 1989 (jeweils 7,0 °C). Damit lag der März 2017 um etwa 3,7 Grad über der international gültigen Referenzperiode 1961 bis 1990. Selbst gegenüber der Vergleichsperiode 1981 bis 2010 betrug die Abweichung noch +2,9 Grad.”

    https://www.dwd.de/DE/presse/pressemitteilungen/DE/2017/20170330_deutschlandwetter_maerz_news.html

    It is utterly absurd when people here try to pretend that scientists or the DWD use “weather” and “climate” in an arbitrary sense to make warming more important and cold less. In the real world the warming was extremely more significant, while “cool” april basically was a normal month.

    1. dennisambler

      Working Paper 58

      “The Social Simulation of the Public Perception of Weather Events and their Effect upon the Development of Belief in Anthropogenic Climate Change”, Dennis Bray and Simon Shackley, September 2004. UK Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research.

      “In this paper, we explore under what conditions belief in global warming or climate change, as identified and defined by experience, science and the media, can be maintained in the public’s perception.

      As the science itself is contested, needless to say, so are the potential policy changes. So how then do people make sense or construct a reality of something that they can never experience in its totality (climate) and a reality that has not yet manifest (i.e. climate change)?

      To endorse policy change people must ‘believe’ that global warming will become a reality some time in the future.

      Only the experience of positive temperature anomalies will be registered as indication of change if the issue is framed as global warming.

      Both positive and negative temperature anomalies will be registered in experience as indication of change if the issue is framed as climate change.

      We propose that in those countries where climate change has become the predominant popular term for the phenomenon, unseasonably cold temperatures, for example, are also interpreted to reflect climate change/global warming.”

      Seems like their advice was taken onboard…….

  6. John F. Hultquist

    The following —

    … Chardonnay, Sauvignon and Pinot grigio. Also red grape sorts such as Cabernet and Merlot were hit, …

    … made me frown.
    A friend has 10 hectares (25 acres) of wine grapes. Last week we finished pruning just as buds swelled and tiny leaves appeared. Winter was cold but we did not see any damage. [Central Washington State, USA]
    The grape’s bud has primary, secondary, and tertiary parts within one bud. Over the next month there will be anxious waiting to see what happens. Not that there is good news in this, but a partial high quality harvest is not impossible. Unless the vine was killed to the ground.
    Watch for a later report.

    1. sunsettommy

      I live just 50-75 miles south of you. It appears that the Columbia Basin was spared the frost that hit cooler areas.

      Now it is supposed to reach 80 F (27C) by my Tuesday and 86 (30 C) the next day! Hopefully doesn’t get sensitive buds open up, only to get another light frost.

    2. AndyG55

      John, you may have to import some Aussie wines 🙂

    3. AndyG55

      for you John… from the Hunter Valley.

      https://www.mcleishestatewines.com.au/2017-vintage-report/

      note how the hot weather following a wet spring may have produced one of the best vintage EVER. !! 😉

      “For our Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon the drier conditions, and high grape numbers, have resulted in superb quality and equally higher yields.”

  7. sod

    “Blooming plants do not average the temperature.”

    You folks are mixing up stuff.

    yes, a small cold spell at the wrong time can damage plants. But this is a WEATHER event, like a thunderstorm which could have the same effect.

    The real problem this year was March, which was completely out of the normal range and which accelerated plant development, leaving them vulnerable to the weather effect.

    calculating averages is necessary if you want to compare temperatures that are extreme and temperatures that are less extreme but last over a longer time. March had both while April had only the former.

  8. roger
    1. AndyG55

      If that is reflected in RSS and UAH, it will be quite “interesting” 😉

    2. sod

      “global-temperatures-plunge-0-5-celsius-in-april/”

      No it did not. Instead it did increase again.

      http://www.drroyspencer.com/2017/05/uah-global-temperature-update-for-april-2017-0-27-deg-c/

      But hey, just facts!

      1. AndyG55

        They did in NCEP.

        Data is NOT your friend.. it is your enema, sob-sob

        1. sod

          “They did in NCEP.”

          No, they did not.

          look at the graph again:

          http://www.thegwpf.com/global-temperatures-plunge-0-5-celsius-in-april/

          If he is seriously trying to make an argument about daily data, he is stupid beyond believe.

          1. AndyG55

            Poor little cry-baby..

            You obviously have trouble with basic graph reading

            Global beginning of April about 0.75

            …. beginning of May , about 0.25

            Can you do basic subtraction??

            Obviously primary school maths is BEYOND you.

            You are an IGNORANT FOOL, sob-sob.

            No wonder you talk CRAP every time data is involved.

          2. AndyG55

            whoops..

            beginning of May is about 0.15C

            So I agree, they were wrong.

            drop is about 0.6C, not 0.5C

            Me bad!

            Thanks for pointing that out to me, sob-sob.

            I know you are always there to help with the FACTS 😉

          3. AndyG55

            Come on seb/sob.

            Have you the courage to argue the point on WUWT.

            You have been invited.

            COWARDS.. or not. ??

            We will see.

  9. AndyG55

    ROFLMAO

    Germany’s farcical adventure with so-called renewables …

    ,,, HAS ZERO EFFECT ON CO2 OUTPUT.. probably increase

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/05/02/numbers-dont-lie-germanys-energiewende-has-had-zero-impact-on-emissions-at-best/

    Tell us something we didn’t already know !!!

    Waiting for the cry-baby, sob-sob, and the other cry-baby, seb-seb, to argue on WUWT.

    They would be HILARIOUS. 🙂

    I DARE you two low-information fools to try . 😉