The Pacific Ocean ENSO (El Nino/Southern Oscillation) barometric feature known as the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) continues to show a neutral scenario. As of April 21, 2014, the SOI reading for the last 30 days was a +2.2; the 90-day number was -2.5; with the daily contribution to the SOI calculation at +3.5. The figures are tallied by the Australia Bureau of Meteorology, and represent the barometer values on the island of Tahiti and Darwin, Australia.
For El Nino to be in effect, the 30-day SOI needs to show a sustained value of -8.0 or lower. However, research done by Iowa State University has an additional parameter, which is that the SOI 90-day value needs to be a -8.0 or lower in order for El Nino-related conditions to make an impact on the Corn Belt.
El Nino development--or the possibility thereof--is being closely watched on both sides of the Pacific. In the U.S., rain and mild temperatures are being eagerly anticipated (I think such a description is valid). In contrast, producers in Australia are concerned that El Nino development would lead to drought conditions and threaten to reduce wheat production in Australia.
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