THIS PART OF SERBIA IS MOST AFFECTED BY A CATASTROPHIC DROUGHT Large deficit of precipitation affects crops and increases the risk of fire

The EC report, which is available online, said the dry conditions were linked to a persistent lack of rainfall combined with a series of heat waves since May this year.

– A serious rainfall deficit has greatly affected river flows throughout Europe. The volume of stored water was reduced, which had a serious impact on the energy sector, hydropower and power plant cooling systems. Recent rainfall in mid-August may have eased drought conditions in some regions of Europe, however, in some areas thunderstorms and storms caused damage and loss, the report said.

Photo: Rina / Rina

An unprecedented drought

The EC says that it will be hotter and drier in the Western Euro-Mediterranean until November 2022, and the latest data, including the first ten days of August, indicate that 47 percent of Europe is under warning conditions.

The soil lacks moisture, and the vegetation is under stress. The danger of drought is especially increasing in the northern part of Serbia, in Italy, Spain, Portugal, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Romania, Hungary, Ukraine and in several other countries.

Others affected by drought are keeping dry conditions stable, with local recovery seen in the southern Czech Republic, northern Austria and some areas in central France.

Namely, 64 percent of Europe is collectively under a warning or alert, which contributes to the expansion of the area of ​​fire danger.


Photo: Snezana Krstić / Ringier

Low water level on the Danube

Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth Maria Gabriel said that “the combination of severe drought and heat waves is an unprecedented stressful situation across the EU”.

– Climate change is undoubtedly becoming more noticeable every year and the EC and its scientists are working on mapping and studying this crisis with the best available technology, from space and on the ground, and are making efforts to protect the environment and our citizens from emergency situations – said Gabriel.

This situation has had a significant impact on summer crops, as reported in the August 2022 JRC MARS newsletter. It is stated that sunflower in the EU is 16 percent, 15 and 12 percent below the five-year average.

Sunflowers

Photo: Dragan Kujundžić / Tanjug

Sunflowers

The problem with the lack of water is particularly emphasized and the EC mentions cases of water reduction in certain regions.

The precipitation deficit has seriously affected all rivers throughout Europe, as well as river transport.

According to JRC experts, the current drought still appears to be the worst in 500 years, but only final data at the end of the season will confirm this preliminary assessment.

Vojvodina was the hardest hit by the drought

Because of this situation, farmers also asked for help from the Government, and farmers from Bačka and other parts of Vojvodina pointed out the drought as the reason for the recent protests.

The people of Subotica demanded the formation of a Commission that would declare a natural disaster due to the drought.

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Photo: Luigi Navarra / Tanjug/AP

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– It was explained to us that a local commission for damage assessment should be formed. We received a promise from the provincial government that they would send a letter to the City to initiate the procedure for declaring a drought. When the commission is formed, we need confirmation from the local self-government that there was a drought and the extent of the damage, and the report is then sent to the Provincial and Republic Governments, i.e. the Ministry of Finance. And the EC included us in the more critical ones – says Miroslav Matković, a farmer from Subotica.

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Serbian meteorologists point to the lack of precipitation and the impact of heat waves on agricultural crops and the decrease in river water levels.

Đorđe Đurić, a meteorologist, tells “Blic” that as far as precipitation is concerned, under the influence of the high-altitude cyclone, an additional 20 to 80 liters of rain per square meter fell throughout Serbia by Thursday and Friday, locally and about 100 liters, which would completely stop long-term drought, which is now behind us, but the consequences will remain.

Rain

Photo: Đorđe Kojadinović / Ringier

Rain

Most of the precipitation is behind us, and today and the following days only sporadic local showers with thunder are expected, but heavy precipitation like those of the previous days is no longer expected.

– The problem is that everything took place in a couple of days instead of being distributed over the course of a month. We will find that August in all of Serbia is average, even somewhere above average, and the drought is catastrophic. Rainfall came very late for agricultural crops, especially corn. The hydrological situation will continue, so the water level on the rivers will continue to be very low, especially on the Danube and the Sava, and the situation would not improve before autumn.

Late rains

Recently, meteorologist Marko Čubrilo from Novi Sad told “Blic” that the heavy rains are late and cannot mitigate the consequences of the catastrophic drought of agricultural crops in Vojvodina, but they are still extremely important for deep moisture and autumn sowing.

Sowing

Photo: Cvijeta Kovačević / RAS Serbia

Sowing

He stated that there is a possibility that this year’s September will be a little rainier, especially in the west of Serbia and in part of Vojvodina, where there would be more rain than average, but it will not be much more significant compared to the average.

– The continuation of such an extreme drought in September is not expected and that will bring average temperatures

and precipitation frames. In Europe and in Serbia, global parameters direct the trend towards drier summers and drier winters. I think we will slowly enter the period again when the precipitation will be slightly above average. We had a dry period and we need a recovery so that the rivers recover slowly, because they are at a very low level, and this is a consequence of the dry winter. The cold is for nothing if there is no snow, and our rivers are fed by snow, especially the Danube, which is largely fed by snow from the Alps.

The article is in Serbian

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