‘Unprecedented weather’? Let Inigo be the judge of that

Contributed by Helen Page

WHENEVER there is a “severe weather event” like the recent flooding rains in SE Qld, the name Inigo Jones comes to mind, and there is renewed interest in this local weatherman whose forecasts made him a household name throughout Australia.

Inigo Jones (1872-1954) came to Peachester with his parents in 1892, settling on the property they called “Crohamhurst”.

Prior to this, Inigo had worked for Clement Wragge, the State Government Meteorologist, and he brought with him a set of weather instruments which he set up in the garden at Crohamhurst.

Soon after the family moved to Peachester, on 2 February 1893, Inigo measured the record rainfall for Australia which still stands, 35.71 inches (907mm) in 24 hours.

Considering the extensive flooding and damage to homes, businesses and roads we have just experienced, imagine if there had been 907mm in any 24 hour period during that “weather event”.

Weather observation and forecasting became Inigo’s life-long passion.

In 1935 he established the Crohamhurst Observatory, where he continued to observe and research weather phenomena until his death in 1954.

Inigo believed that an understanding of Australia’s extreme weather patterns would be crucial to the future of primary industries in this country.

Carrying forward the work of early meteorologists and astronomers, he searched for answers in the movement of the planets and the influence of sunspots, and attempted to identify weather cycles.

The Peachester History Committee has a special interest in the work of this famous local resident; and with the help of the Jones family the group has built up a significant collection of photographs, documents, charts and memorabilia relating to Inigo’s predictions and study of the weather.

A section of the Peachester Heritage Centre is devoted to Inigo Jones, his research and achievements in the field of long-range weather forecasting.

The Heritage Centre is open to the public on the fourth Sunday each month, from 10.00am to 2.00pm (next regular open day Sunday March 27). It will also be open on Saturday March 19 during the Peachester Village Markets.

Source: PHC Inigo Jones collection