Flooding in Luxembourg City, 17 May 2024; Credit: Ali Sahib

On Friday 31 May 2024, AgriMeteo, the meteorological service of the Administration of Technical Agricultural Services (ASTA), published its weather analysis report for spring in Luxembourg.

The analysis looked at data taken from the network of 40 automatic weather stations located in all regions of the Grand Duchy and recorded until 30 May 2024 inclusive. Data from March, April and May from four representative stations, i.e. Asselborn (north), Clemency (south-west), Remich (Moselle Valley) and Luxembourg City (centre), were compared with the average values of the reference period 1991-2020.

The AgriMeteo report confirmed that excess rain hindered the development of many agricultural crops this spring.

3rd wettest spring since 1854

Spring 2024 emerged as the third wettest since AgriMeteo began measuring precipitation in 1854. There were 43.1 days of rain (precipitation ≥ 1 mm), i.e. fourteen more than the usual (29.1 days) for the 1991-2020 reference period. The cumulative average precipitation totalled 301.2 mm, i.e. +69% compared to normal rainfall figures (177.9 mm).

The excess spring rain varied depending on the region: +94.0% in Remich, +90.8% in Asselborn, +76.2% in Luxembourg City and +30.9% in Clémency. Friday 17 May 2024 was the wettest day, with an average excess rain of +45 mm which caused flooding in various locations.

Late frosts in April

Whilst an average of 4.3 days of frost (temperatures < 0 °C) were recorded during spring 2024, the normal number being 16.7 days, the late frosts of 21-23 April caused problems in certain regions.

Regarding the average temperature (10.5 °C), spring 2024 was +1.2 °C warmer than usual (9.3 °C) for the 1991-2020 reference period.

Delays in the development of agricultural crops

Unfavourable weather conditions are likely to have had an impact on certain agricultural crops, with regional variations, noted AgriMeteo. Whilst still too early to make an assessment, it is clear, according to the report, that the excess rain delayed the sowing of cereals, potatoes and corn and postponed the first fodder cuttings. The rain hampered cultivation practices on muddy fields.

Wet conditions have also favoured the appearance of diseases and pests which pose problems for many crops, particularly market gardening. The late frost damaged part of the vineyards and fruit crops (cherry and pear trees) in certain regions. An assessment of the damage among stone fruit producers is currently underway.