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‘Onion Oracle’ predicts rainfall with vegetable as German tradition reveals forecast for 2020

‘Onion Oracle’ who predicts rainfall using the vegetable as part of a German tradition reveals his DIRE forecast for 2020

  • Halwyn Herrmann from south-east Queensland, used the method for 62 years 
  • The 80-year-old uses locally-grown onion and table salt to forecast the weather 
  • He predicts some rain in autumn, a fairly dry winter, and a slightly wetter spring 

Halwyn Herrmann (pictured), from Lowood in south-east Queensland, has used the method for the last 62 years

A man who uses an onion to predict rainfall has revealed this year’s expected downpour. 

Halwyn Herrmann, from Lowood in south-east Queensland, used the method for the last 62 years on New Year’s Eve, to predict the following year’s rainfall.

Known as the ‘Onion Oracle’ Halwyn Herrmann, 80, has been making predictions after his neighbour taught him the German tradition over tea, beer and wine.

‘Our old neighbour, a German fellow, used to do this every December 31, and in the 1957 drought he ran out of money,’ Hally told The Courier Mail.

‘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.

Mr Herrmann has predicted rainfall for a third of 2020, with some rain expected in autumn, fairly dry winter and slightly wetter spring.  

A man uses an onion and ordinary table salt to predict rainfall in the new year (stock image)

A man uses an onion and ordinary table salt to predict rainfall in the new year (stock image)

Hally said he is ‘pretty happy’ with the predictions for 2020 and that it will be a ‘better year’. 

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

‘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.’

At midnight on the last day of the year the onion is peeled and then cut in half length-wise.

Six onion ring cups are then removed in order from the left, followed by six from the right – one for each month.

Each ring is rubbed with a pinch of salt, and left until 4.30 the next morning when the measuring begins.

Using the naked eye, Mr Herrmann measured the amount of water inside each ring, which predicts how much rain will fall that month.

The more water left inside the shell, the more rain there will be that month, Mr Herrmann said.

The local farmer, who has six children, 23 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren, said cattle auctioneers had used his predictions, and he even had a visit from the weather bureau.

‘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,’ he said. 

How to predict the weather using nothing but an onion and table salt 

Step 1: Source a large locally-grown brown or white onion

Step 2: At midnight on New Year’s Eve cut the onion lengthwise and let the ring cups fall to the left and right

Step 3: Take the six rings from the left for the months January to June, and the six from the right for July to December

Step 4: Put a pinch of ordinary cooking salt inside each ring and rub it around with one finger

Step 5: Set the onion ring cups aside until 4.30am on January 1

Step 6: Check how much water has gathered inside the onion ring cups using the naked eye

Step 7: Make your predictions based on how much water there is inside each ring – the more water the more rain will fall during that month