Keep eyes peeled for rain in Fe­bru­ary

Lowood’s onion or­a­cle main­tains a Ger­man tra­di­tion

Gatton Star - - INTO RURAL - AN­DREW KORNER an­[email protected]

own back­yard weather fore­caster Hally Her­mann’s meth­ods might not be the most sci­en­tific, but he is adamant they have not let him down in 60 years.

The “Onion Or­a­cle” kept a proud Ger­man tra­di­tion go­ing this New Year’s Eve by us­ing an onion to pre­dict the rain­fall for the year ahead. Not ev­ery­one will take Hally’s fore­cast as the gospel but, if you do, it looks as though it could be a while un­til we see any de­cent rain again.

In the early hours of yes­ter­day, Hally con­cluded Jan­uary would be a dry month.

Our first relief from a hot, dry sum­mer could come in Fe­bru­ary, with Hally’s onion telling him it will be a month of “good rain”.

Skip­ping ahead to later in 2019, Hally said there was one as­pect of the year’s pre­dic­tions that wor­ried him.

“I was dis­ap­pointed to see that Oc­to­ber would be dry,” he said. “I was hop­ing that might be one of the wet­ter months.”

One or­di­nary gar­den va­ri­ety, some ta­ble salt and his keen eye is all Hally needs to make his bold pre­dic­tions.

“Hally’s weather pre­dic­tion” takes place at mid­night on New Year’s Eve ev­ery year and the re­sults are checked at 4.30am on Jan­uary 1.

Hally peels the onion and cuts it in half.

Check­ing the left side first, he re­moves six rings, with each one rep­re­sent­ing the months of JALOWOOD’S nuary to June.

The other half rep­re­sents July to De­cem­ber.

“Put your salt in the ring and leave it un­til 4.30 the next morn­ing.

“It makes wa­ter from the salt and you mea­sure by eye. You guess how much is in there and the more wa­ter there is, the more rain for that month,” Hally tells us.

While an or­di­nary onion will do, Hally in­sists on us­ing lo­cal ones that are of a de­cent size.

“I get them from my mate near Rose­wood,” he said.

Hally hopes to pass the tra­di­tion on to his grand­son Luke, who ac­com­pa­nied Hally in cut­ting the onion this year.

Luke’s fore­cast came up dif­fer­ent to Hally’s, but the Onion Or­a­cle is con­fi­dent his pro­tege will learn.

“Lukey is very pleased to learn and I’m re­ally happy about that,” Hally said.

Photo: Rob Wil­liams

LOOK­ING AHEAD: Hally Her­rmann has made his onion weather pre­dic­tions for 2019.

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