Following our post (Wheat Weather) the other day regarding the devastating flooding across eastern Australia, we encourage readers to follow the Standard Precipitation Index (SPI) to monitor conditions in the region through January. The map below depicts the Dec2010 SPI, and it will be worth noting the changes when the Jan2011 index is released.
( map courtesy of IRI/LDEO )
Index values >2 correlate with extremely wet conditions for the particular region. Droughts often are broken with an extreme pattern in the opposite direction, and while the short term ramifications to the agricultural sector in eastern Australia will see a negative impact in the current crop year, this pattern is likely to have a benefit for the following year(s) as areas that have been moisture deficient will have the ability to recharge soil moisture and groundwater.