According to a report from researchers at the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology, the Administration des Services Techniques de l’Agriculture and Meteolux, the season began with a particularly cold snap in March thanks to north-easterly air currents carrying cool air to Luxembourg.
Meanwhile, persistent areas of high pressure in April and May resulted in summerlike temperatures. “The temperatures at the Findel weather station were above those of the comparative periods, especially in April and May. May 2018 was the warmest May since records started to be collected at Findel station in 1947,” the report says.
May was characterised by humid and warm air masses, resulting in a series of thunderstorms. The highest temperature recorded was 29.4°C, on 28 May, in Schimpach.
Seasonal rainfall patterns varied widely across the country, with 23% less rainfall in Reuler and 42% more in Echternach (for a total of 220mm), where serious regional flooding from 31 May to 1 June resulted in the damage and closure of several roads. March and April recorded relatively low rainfall while May was damper than average.
Luxembourg’s agricultural community lucked out in the spring weather stakes as many plants suffered from bud wilt, a growth defect which leads to flower buds drying out. The weather also meant a shorter timeframe in which farmers could spray rapeseed crops against the rape pollen beetle, while other crops were damaged by localised hail storms on 29 April.