A sunny spring brings joy to many people. Spring 2022 was the third sunniest since measurements began. However, it was again too dry. That’s worrying.
Where is it, the light rain that farmers rely on for good plant growth? Instead, spring 2022 in Germany was once again too warm and too dry.
The months of March, April and May resulted in the ninth spring in a row being too dry. With around 125 liters of precipitation per square meter, it only reached 67 percent of its long-term average of 186 liters per square meter. Compared to the period from 1991 to 2020, spring only achieved 73 percent of the precipitation target. This emerges from the provisional balance sheet of the German Weather Service (DWD) for the months of March to May.
In addition, the precipitation was not evenly distributed. April saw ample rainfall compared to previous years, while March was far too dry in many places. It was said that May was far too dry in some regions. Storms and torrential downpours impacted rainfall statistics, but were not the steady rainfall farmers were hoping for.
Precipitation very unevenly distributed
Bad Bayersoien, northeast of Füssen in the Allgäu, recorded the highest daily amount in Germany on May 5 with 108.7 liters of precipitation per square meter. On May 20, several tornadoes up to F2 strength in parts of North Rhine-Westphalia caused damage running into millions and many people were injured. In spring, the Chiemgau and Berchtesgaden Alps received the most precipitation in Germany, with over 350 liters of precipitation per square meter in some cases. The driest areas were in the north-east: in the Uckermark, the Oderbruch and the Thuringian Basin, there were locally less than 40 liters per square meter.
According to the DWD, the average temperature at nine degrees was 1.3 degrees above the value of the internationally valid reference period from 1961 to 1990. Compared to the current and warmer comparison period from 1991 to 2020, the deviation was 0.1 degrees, according to the evaluation of around 2000 DWD measuring stations.
There were also cold episodes. March had 18 frost days, making it the frostiest month in the winter half-year 2021/22. At the beginning of April, a severe onset of winter caused sharp night frosts in large parts of Germany: The thermometer dropped the lowest nationwide in spring on April 4 in Meßstetten on the Swabian Jura with minus 14.6 degrees.
Summer weather only since May
After an above-average warm second half of April, it was really summery in May: in Ohlsbach, northeast of Freiburg im Breisgau, the highest spring temperature in Germany was measured on May 20 with 33.7 degrees. That was a hot day according to the definition of meteorologists.
With almost 675 hours of sunshine, spring 2022 was also the third sunniest since measurements began in 1951. The sun was the longest on the Baltic Sea island of Rügen with over 830 hours, the least in the Allgäu and the central and eastern low mountain ranges with locally less than 575 hours . At least sun worshipers, beer garden operators and owners of ice cream parlors should be satisfied with so much sunshine in spring 2022 – even if foresters, gardeners and farmers are still waiting for rain.