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The Joint Research Centre (JRC) is the European Commission's science and knowledge service which employs scientists to carry out research in order to provide independent scientific advice and support to EU policy.
The latest MARS crop monitoring Bulletin, published today, reports that the significantly higher-than-average temperatures experienced by much of central, eastern and northern Europe since the end of November has helped winter crops to become established, but has also impeded their build-up of frost tolerance, leaving them exposed to frost kill should temperatures suddenly turn to normal seasonal values. However, no sudden drop in temperatures is foreseen for the coming days.
North-western areas recently experienced extremely heavy rainfall events which have led to a rain surplus, whereas there is a persistent lack of precipitation in much of southern Europe. Precipitation is expected to remain scarce for the coming days except for northern Portugal, the British Isles, the Benelux region, Germany and the coast of Norway. Temperatures are expected to remain above freezing in most of western Europe, except for eastern and south-eastern Europe where they are likely to reach -2 to -6°C, and Scandinavia, Russia and the eastern Black Sea coast, where minimum temperatures will be less than -10°C.