Hally the onion rain forecaster: ‘I told you so’

HALLY the weather man knew today's downpour was coming - his onion told him so.

The 78-year-old from Lowood made international headlines this week when he shared his century-old German onion experiment that forecasted month-by-month rainfall.

Halwyn Herrmann hasn't got the forecast wrong in the 60 years he has led the experiment.

He knew the 2011 floods were coming and he knew today was going to be wet too.

He also predicted rain for February this year.

Hally woke this morning to find his weather predictions were spot on, yet again.

"I knew it was coming, I knew it was going to rain," he said.

"Yep, I told you so."

Hally said he could see more rain in the future, namely tomorrow.

"We will get some more rain tomorrow. I love rain," Mr Herrmann said.

Hally's 2018 onion cutting weather prediction

  • January - some good rain
  • February - rain
  • March - heavy rain
  • April - some rain
  • May - some rain
  • June - fairly dry
  • July - some rain
  • August - some rain
  • September - rain
  • October - heavy rain
  • November - rain
  • December - good rain


How to use an onion to predict rain

AN ONION, some ordinary table salt and a naked eye is all Hally needs to predict the future.

"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.

"You peel the onion and cut it in half. Half falls to the left and the other half to the right. The left side is first and you take off six rings which are for January to June, then the other half goes from July to December," he said.

"Then you put your salt in the ring and leave it until 4.30 the next morning. It makes water from the salt and you just measure by eye - you guess how much is in there and the more water there is, the more rain for that month."

Hally said an ordinary brown or white onion would do but it needed to be a decent size and from a local farm.

"You need a local onion. I used to grow my own but now I don't. Now I get them from my mate near Rosewood.

"You need a reasonable size and you can't cut them if they're too small. You need a good knife to cut it and ordinary cooking salt," he said.

"Then you use your finger to stir it around and the next morning you just use your naked eye to have a look and read it."

Hally expects heavy rain next month and some rain in April and May, while the Bureau of Meteorology three month climate outlook expects there to be moderate Autumn rainfall across Australia, including Queensland.

Hally uses the onion and salt method to predict the month-to-month rainfall for the year ahead.

Prenzlau dairy farmer Jack Stunhke taught Hally the age-old tradition on New Years Eve in 1958.

78-year-old Halwyn Herrmann of Lowood predicts rainfall using onions.
78-year-old Halwyn Herrmann of Lowood predicts rainfall using onions. Lachlan McIvor

Topics:  bom editors picks halwyn herrmann ipswich weather rain

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