Essen (dpa / lnw) - In the Ruhr catchment area, spring was too dry and too warm overall. There was little precipitation, especially in March - in the long observation period since 1927 it had only been drier in four years, as the Ruhrverband reported. April, on the other hand, was wetter and May was too dry again. In spring 2022, there was a total of 166 millimeters of precipitation per square meter in the Ruhr catchment area - and thus 57 millimeters less than the average for the years 1927 to 2021.
With an average temperature of 8.9 degrees, spring 2022 in the Ruhr catchment area was also 0.5 degrees warmer than the comparative period from 1991 to 2020. It ranks 18th among the warmest springs since 1881. It is clearly a consequence of climate change that these three months were too warm again, said the head of the dam control center, Anne Becker, of the German Press Agency.
The Ruhrverband is one of the largest water associations in Germany. There are numerous dams and dams in the catchment area, and the water of the Ruhr is an important source of fresh water.
At the end of spring on May 31, the dam system was almost 93 percent full, the association emphasized. This is around three percent above the long-term average for this time of year. But: "Compared to the previous year, around 13.8 million cubic meters of water are stored in the dams less."
"If the spring is too warm, the probability of a summer that is too dry increases," said Becker, pointing to correlations that have been proven in studies. In addition to the problem of falling precipitation, there is also the fact that a lot of water is lost through evaporation as temperatures rise at the same time.
According to the association, April was the only month of spring 2022 in which the monthly mean temperature in the Ruhr catchment area was below the value of the comparative period 1991/2020.
For the whole of North Rhine-Westphalia, the German Weather Service (DWD) recently determined in a preliminary balance sheet that the spring was too warm and too dry. With an average temperature of 9.9 degrees from March to May, NRW was one of the warmest federal states - the average temperature was 1.6 degrees above the value of the internationally valid reference period from 1961 to 1990. With almost 130 liters of precipitation per square meter, it was significantly drier than in the comparison period with 205 liters.