Is The Weather Having A Laugh?

02/02/11 -- Still reeling from extreme flooding, Cyclone Yasi is expected to make landfall in Queensland later today. Described as a "monster, killer storm" by Queensland premier Anna Bligh, Yasi has been upgraded to the highest level category five overnight.

The state's sugar cane crop is seen most at risk amongst agri-commodities, and Queensland accounts for around 90% of the national total output. Mining is also under further threat, with copper and tin prices surging to record highs overnight.

Meanwhile how they could do with a drop of rain on the North China Plain, where around 75% of the nation's wheat is grown. The provinces of Shandong, Hebei, Henan, Anhui, Shanxi and Jiangsu have seen no significant rains at all in the October/January period.

Hebei Province has received just 2mm of rain since November and Shandong upped it's drought alert to the highest level last Thursday.