Friday, 6 May 2016

Q150 2009 Record rainfall

Q150 Heritage Plaque - 1 of 16 - Record Rainfall
The Bribie Island Heritage Plaques Waterfront Walk Bongaree consists of 16 bronze plaques located on the "Heritage Walk" along the walking path beside the Bongaree beach from the southern point of South Esplanade and finishes just north of Kangaroo Avenue.
These 16 bronze plaques set on a white concrete square record various aspects of the history of Bribie Island: Record Rainfall, South Esplanade, Campbell's Store, Camping Grounds, Bribie Island heritage quote from A. Meston, Ian Fairweather, First Shop, Bribie Island Heritage quote from Stan Tutt, First Avenue, Fishing Records, Welsby Parade, Bribie Island Wartime, First Car, Shirley Creek, Castaway Convicts and Fish Cannery.
The following excerpt is from the 2009 booklet produced prior to the plaques placement.  The Heritage Plaques Waterfront Walk Bongaree project was a Q150 Community Funded Program, initiated by the Rotary Club of Bribie Island and supported by Moreton Bay Regional Council in conjunction with Bribie Island U3A and Bribie Island Historical Society.

A copy of the map for the Bongaree Waterfront Walk can be found at 


The greatest daily rainfall officially recorded anywhere in Australia fell near Pumicestone Passage on 3rd February 1893.  After 3 weeks of continuous rain, a record total of 907mm was recorded at Beerwah by Inigo Jones, in this one 24 hour period.

Historian Warwick Outram observes Jones' 1930 charts
forecasting possible floods 79 years ahead.
Inigo Jones
  • Inigo Owen Jones (1873-1954) was born at Croydon, Surrey, England and his family migrated to Queensland when he was 2.  At 11 years of age he won a scholarship to Brisbane Grammar School.
  • He had an observatory at his parents' Kangaroo Point home to foster his interest in astronomy and meteorology, and was a student member of the Royal Society of Queensland.
  • By 1888, when he was just 15, Inigo had taken up a cadetship in the office of colonial meteorologist, Clement Wragge.  They developed an interest in long-range weather forecasting based on sunspot cycles.
Weather Forecasting
¨ In 1893 Inigo Jones was present to measure the Australian daily rainfall record of 35.714 inches (907mm) at his parents’ Crohamhurst farm near Peachester on 3rd February, 1893.
¨ This torrential flooding rain over this entire area resulted in the silting up of Pumicestone Passage, drastically reducing the depth of the shipping channel, and impacting commercial business on the Passage..
¨ In 1923 Inigo Jones successfully forecast the end of a very long dry spell.  This publicity  saw him become a full-time forecaster from his home at Dutton Park between 1927—1934.
¨ He was appointed Director of the Bureau of Seasonal Forecasting of the Council of Agriculture and with financial support from government and industry the Inigo Jones Seasonal Weather Forecasting Trust was set up in 1928.
¨ In 1930 he made predictions of possible flood levels of the Brisbane River prior to the construction  of the Storey Bridge.  He accurately forecast future floods, in particular the 1974 Brisbane flood.
¨ The Crohamhurst Observatory, financed by the Trust and the Colonial Sugar Refining Co, was opened in 1935.  Inigo Jones once more divided his time between work on the farm and in the observatory.
¨ In 1942 support from interstate was provided through the Long Range Weather Forecasting Trust.

 Long Range Weather Forecasting
¨ Long range weather forecasting methods employed by Jones had many detractors.  However, he remained convinced that cyclic sunspot activity plus the position and orbits of certain planets did influence weather.
¨ The long range weather charts drawn up by Jones in the 1930’s based on these cycles, accurately predicted cyclones and heavy flood rain.  Most notable of these were the disastrous 1974 floods and the recent 2008/2009 flood rains, which he had predicted over 70 years ago.

Four Generations of Long Range Weather Forecasters
Clement Wragge

¨ Clement Wragge  (1852 - 1922) was the pioneer in meteorology in Queensland between 1887 and 1902, setting up 100 meteorological stations as well as 400 rainfall stations by 1893.  He also started the tradition of naming cyclones using the Greek alphabet then moving on to politicians of the day.  With his young assistant, Inigo Jones, he began issuing long range weather forecasts.

¨ Clement Wragge was nicknamed “Wet Wragge”.
¨ Inigo Jones  (1874—1954) trained under Wragge then went on to develop his own career.
Inigo Jones
Lennox Walker
¨ Lennox Walker (1925—2000) came to Crohamhurst Observatory in 1953 after answering a newspaper advertisement for an assistant to Inigo Jones who was 80 years old at the time.   Lennox learned all he could from his taskmaster until Jones’ death in 1954.  He developed his own theories on sunspots affecting weather patterns at certain times of the year, using these studies for his forecasts.  His most notable predictions were:-  Fine weather for the Melbourne Olympics in 1956, and Cyclone Tracey devasting Darwin in 1974.  Lennox Walker retired at age 68, handing over the reins to his son Hayden Walker.

¨ Hayden Walker is the Research Director of Walker’s Weather, a company formed to specialise in long term weather forecasting Australia wide. 
¨ Weather is predicted 12 to 18 months in advance.  Forecasts are available for the media, farmers, fishermen, events organizers and even brides planning their special day. Short term forecasts are also available.
¨ Using much the same methods as his predecessors Walker’s Weather achieves an 80%   accuracy rate.

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