The impact of both drought and rain is demonstrated by this pair of vegetation index images. The data used to make the images were captured by the SPOT vegetation satellite in April 2007 (bottom) and May 2007 (top). The vegetation index is a record of plant growth during the month-long period. Areas that are brown reveal where plants were more sparse or growing more slowly than average. Green areas indicate that plants are growing larger or more quickly than average, in this case, in response to rainfall. It is evident that drought was widespread and extreme in April, particularly in crop regions in the southeast and southwest. In May, the drought is less extreme, but ongoing. The populated southeast in particular saw improved conditions, which is evident in the transition from brown to green. The drought still held sway in the northeast (Queensland) and Western Australia.
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