China: Rain in Southern Plains, North Unfavorably Dry
The weather during early June 2000 was mostly hot and dry on the North China Plain, favoring winter wheat maturation and harvesting, but stressing emerging and vegetative summer crops. In Manchuria, below-normal rainfall and very warm temperatures depleted topsoil moisture for corn, soybeans and spring wheat. Temperatures in the first half of June averaged 2 to 4 degrees C above normal across the northern growing areas of China. In contrast, moderate rain and slightly below normal temperatures favored summer crops and rice across southern China and the Sichuan Basin. Widespread showers in mid-June greatly improved growing conditions for summer crops across most of northern and central China. Additional heavy showers in late-June and early July provided further drought relief in the southern and western plains (Henan, Shaanxi, Shanxi, southern Hebei, northern Anhui, and northern Jiangsu) and may have even caused some local flooding. Meanwhile, mostly dry weather prevailed across northern Hebei, Beijing, and southern Manchuria (Liaoning) during late-June, reducing moisture supplies. Although scattered light to moderate rain increased available moisture in northern and central Manchuria (Jilin, Heilongjiang) during this period, more rain is needed to support normal crop development. Manchuria averaged only 30 to 60 percent of normal rainfall in June 2000, making it the driest June in about 20 years. Beneficial rain continued through the end of June across the Sichuan Basin, while drier and sunnier weather favored rice development across southern China.
Eastern Europe: Extreme Hot and Dry Weather Stresses Crops
Eastern Europe, especially in the south, experienced hot and dry weather during June 2000. During May 2000, some rainfall eased spring dryness in the northeast, improving crop conditions there, while the south was unseasonably hot and dry, causing stress to winter grains in the grain-fill stage as well as vegetative summer crops. During the first two weeks of June scattered showers fell in parts of Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Austria, helping winter grains and summer crops develop. In contrast, hot, dry weather from Hungary and Romania southward exacerbated developing drought and increased stress on immature winter grains and vegetative summer crops. During the week of June 18-24, hot weather overspread all of eastern Europe, worsening drought conditions from Hungary southward into Bulgaria. Prolonged dryness in these areas along with periodic heat reduced yield prospects for winter grains and likely caused a rapid decline in sugar beet, sunflower, soybean, and corn conditions. In Poland, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia, although record heat was observed during the middle of the week, cooler weather was accompanied by scattered showers at weeks end, easing crop stress. During the week of June 25 through July 1, heavy showers, locally up-to 68 millimeters, eased persistent dryness in Austria, Slovenia, and Croatia. Similarly, scattered showers in northern and eastern Poland benefitted vegetative summer crops. Elsewhere, mainly dry weather dominated the region, intensifying drought from Hungary and Romania southward. Soaking rain is needed soon in southeastern Europe to prevent further decline in summer crop yield prospects.
South Asia: Rains Reach Gujarat
Last month we reported that the Southwest Monsoon arrived on time and was strongly developed over much of the Indian sub-continent. However, at that time the monsoon was not yet established over most of Gujarat, Rajasthan, and western Madhya Pradesh. During June 4 - 10, 2000, heavy rain covered important crop areas of central, northern, and eastern India and Bangladesh. Very heavy rain fell along Indias southwest coast as well, likely flooding some important rice growing areas. Scattered showers also brought localized relief from long-term dryness in Gujarat and into Pakistan, but not heavy enough to spur planting of rainfed crops. Rainfall tapered off during the following week across much of northern and central India. Locally heavy rain continued over Bangladesh and Indias eastern states, causing additional flooding of rice and other crops. Dryness returned to drought-affected areas of Gujarat, Rajasthan, and Pakistan. Showers returned to northern and central India during the following week, June 18 - 24, increasing moisture supplies for summer crops, but slowing planting. While showers reached into northern Pakistan, dry and hot weather continued across Gujarat and Rajasthan. Heavy rains continued along the southwest coast and across the eastern states of India and Bangladesh. During the week of June 25 through July 1, monsoon rains intensified over southern India, increasing moisture for rice and other summer crops. Heavy rains covered a broad section of Andhra Pradesh, an important groundnut and cotton-producing area, improving conditions for crop establishment. Moderate showers finally reached the groundnut basin of Gujarat, enabling oilseed and cotton planting. Shower activity declined from prior weeks levels across northern and eastern India and Bangladesh, with just a few locations recording 50 to 100 millimeters. Showers also increased irrigation reserves in northern Pakistan and Punjab.
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