From October of 2008 to February 2009, persistent drought weather hit most parts of northern China. The vegetation
condition reflects the overall effect of rainfall, soil moisture, weather and agricultural practices. The remote sensing
technique plays an important role in drought monitoring and early warning. In this article the author proposes a LAI
anomaly index based on the MODIS 15A Products to monitor drought and predict yield. The historical average Leaf
Area Index (LAI) images were derived using MODIS 15A Products from 2001 to 2007. The departure method was
employed to calculate the anomaly index of LAI. And the LAI anomaly images were calculated from the MODIS 15A
LAI products in spring, 2009. The LAI anomaly index was also designed to assess the drought degree. The spring
drought index images in the 7 winter wheat provinces, including Heibei, He'nan, Shandong, Shan xi, Shan'xi, Anhui,
Jiangsu, were mapped. The results showed that the spring drought was fiercely extended in the January along with the
rapid rise of temperature and the regreening of winter crops, and also indicated the worst drought occurred in Henan
province, Southwest Shandong, Guanzhong plateau in Shaanxi province, South Shanxi, North Jiangsu, North Anhui.
However, the severe drought was also alleviated rapidly by the intensive and timely irrigation and the adequate rainfall
from February to May, 2009. And the winter crops were successfully recovered since end of March (DOY 81) in most of
the wheat product region. The predicted yield in most winter wheat product region was normal or better than normal
level, and the spring drought resulted in small or bigger yield loss in some fields in south Shanxi, west Hebei, south-east
Henan and Guangzhong Plateau Shaanxi.