FOR the past 62 years our own "Onion Oracle" Halwyn Herrmann has been predicting rainfall using a humble onion, and this year we all hope he's spot on, because he says rain is a coming.

Hally (as he is known) has a New Year's Eve tradition that he always looks forward to and this year didn't disappoint as he grabbed an onion and used it to predict rainfall according to an old German tradition taught to him by a neighbour.

How does the Bureau of Meteorology's weather predictions compare to Hally's?

The good news according to Hally is to expect good rain for a third of 2020, although it looks like another long, dry winter and a mostly dry spring.

 

Hally Herrmann has made his onion weather predictions for 2020. Picture: Cordell Richardson
Hally Herrmann has made his onion weather predictions for 2020. Picture: Cordell Richardson

 

Hally's Predictions for Rain 2020

January - Light rain

February - Better rain

March - Good rain

April - Good rain

May - Some rain

June - Fairly dry

July - Fairly dry

August - Some rain

September - Good rain

October - Some rain

November- Better rain

December - Good rain

 

Hally Herrmann has made his onion weather predictions for 2020. Picture: Cordell Richardson
Hally Herrmann has made his onion weather predictions for 2020. Picture: Cordell Richardson

 

"Our old neighbour, a German fellow, used to do this every December 31, and in the 1957 drought he ran out of money," Hally said.

"I'll never forget when they sold his pigs, his cows and horses… and he stood there and cried. He got me up there on New Year's Eve, had a tea, then some beers, we'd play cards and then at 11.30pm he'd get the wine out, and do the predictions.

"I've done it ever since, and this is now my 62nd year. I'm pretty happy with the predictions, and I tell you now we're gonna have a better year in 2020 than we did in 2019. I can't see any flood rain, but we are getting more than we did last year. March and April looks good for decent rain."

After more than six decades honing his craft, Hally hopes that someone in the family will step up and learn the skill. To read the onion, Halley carefully cuts it in half, does some trimming and looks at the water content in the layers of the onion to predict the year's rainfall.

"My grandson has said he's keen to learn, he's 19, and I hope that one day he can take over. It's a family tradition.

"I have seen it dry in my life, but never like this, I've never seen so much fire … acres and acres of bushland lost, it's terrible."


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