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Rainy weather alleviates drought in Turkey and the Middle East

Updated Mar 29, 2023
Recent moderate to heavy rains have brought relief to drought-stricken areas in central Turkey and western Iran. The rainy weather has also improved moisture supply for winter grains in the region, raising hopes for better yields in this 2022/23 crop year. Last week, slow-moving storms produced widespread rain and thunderstorms, with precipitation ranging from 5 to 90 mm, in central Turkey, the Mediterranean coast, Syria, Iraq and Iran. The third consecutive week of heavy rains eased or recovered drought conditions and further improved prospects for wheat and barley crops from the vegetative to reproductive stages, except in the Thrace region of northwest Turkey. Unfortunately, the Thrace region experienced mostly dry conditions, compounding the drought condition.
Since September 1, the region has received only 55% of normal precipitation, making it the second driest season in the last 30 years through March 25. Although the recent period of anomalous heat has subsided, temperatures are still averaging 2 to 5°C above normal in eastern Turkey, northern and central Iraq, and much of northern and eastern Iran. Higher temperatures are expected to continue but will not significantly affect crop growth. Recent rains brought some relief to farmers battling drought conditions and boosted prospects for the winter crop in central Turkey and ...
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