The Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST), the Administration des Services Techniques de l'Agriculture (ASTA) and MeteoLux have just published the analysis of the meteorological data collected within the framework of long-term monitoring activities of hydroclimatological variables for Autumn 2018.
For the average air temperatures recorded at all stations, autumn 2018 was much too dry.
Autumn 2018 - particularly September and October - was marked by very warm and dry weather conditions. September was mostly dominated by the effects of a high pressure system. At the beginning of the last ten days of September, the whole country was affected by the very high wind speeds and copious rainfall brought in by Hurricane Fabienne. In October, a southerly airstream brought unusually warm and dry weather to Luxembourg. Ten days from the end of the month, however, the Indian summer was brought to an end by troughs of low pressure arriving from the north-west and ushering in autumnal conditions with heavier cloud and rain. An area of high pressure lying over Central and Eastern Europe ensured that the weather was again very mild from the first days of November right up to the middle of the month. However, the last ten days of the month were affected by troughs of low pressure, which brought damp, changeable conditions.
The average temperatures recorded for autumn 2018 at the various ASTA (Administration des Services Techniques de l’Agriculture - Agriculture Technical Services Administration) and MeteoLux weather stations, the data from which were evaluated, gave an inconsistent picture. The largest negative deviation was -0.6°C measured at the Schimpach Weather Station (ASTA), whilst the largest positive deviation was 1.1°C recorded at the Findel Weather Station (MeteoLux), i.e. +1.7°C based on the 1981 - 2010 reference period. The maximum air temperature (31.2°C) was recorded on 18 September in Echternach (ASTA). The absolute minimum air temperature (-6.2°C) was recorded on 3 November in Schimpach (ASTA). During the three months of autumn, the temperatures measured at the Findel Weather Station were often found to be significantly higher than those recorded during comparative periods.
Precipitation totals measured at the ASTA weather stations and the Findel Weather Station (MeteoLux) were significantly lower than those recorded during the 2001 - 2010 comparison period. The smallest difference (-26%) was recorded at ASTA’s Reuler and Schimpach stations. However, at all the other weather stations, the data from which were evaluated, the precipitation totals recorded were between 30% and 60% lower. Of all the stations, the data from which were evaluated, the lowest autumnal precipitation total (86 mm) was recorded at the Findel Weather Station. The precipitation totals recorded at the Findel Station were the lowest of any weather station for each of the three autumn months. At the Findel Station, autumn 2018 was the third driest autumn since records began in 1947.
Due to the persistent warm, dry weather, which characterized summer and early autumn 2018, Luxembourg’s wine growers have been able to bring in a vintage of exceptional quality. Apart from the occasional light to moderate drought damage (primarily affecting the younger vineyards), this year’s harvest has seen an abundance of very ripe and extremely healthy grapes. After the poor frost- and disease-affected harvests of the previous two years, yields this year have proven very satisfactory. Wine lovers can once again look forward to excellent wines from the 2018 vintage from the Moselle Valley.