Home' The Murray Pioneer : January 20th 2017 Contents 18 NEWS www.murraypioneer.com.au Friday, January 20, 2017
Make your ideas
0427 824 378
P: 08 8541 9139
Plans to council
The key to a great BBQ is...
6 Barwell Avenue, Barmera
(08) 8588 2138
RRP $26.95 $22.9 0
Fusion Health: where ancient wisdom meets modern medicine
8582 3858 | 20 Wilson Street, Berri
RRP $42.95$36.5 0
TAKE A FURHTER
VITALITY AND WELLBEING
TAKE A FURHTER
Waikerie’s Bob Duffield, pictured with wife Margaret, has been observing and recording the official Ramco
rainfall for the Bureau of Meteorology from their property since 1976. Their son Craig took over in 2008, but
Bob – with Craig’s help – still logs the daily rainfall, and has copies of the rainfall records at Ramco dating
back to 1896. PHOTO: Sonia Fowler
Take a rain check
WAIKERIE’S Bob Duffield had been observing
and recording rainfall in Ramco for the Bureau of
Meteorology (BOM) since 1976, until his son Craig
took over the reins in 2008.
The rainfall is measured at the Duffields’ Enduro
Road, (formerly Murbko Road) property, which
has been the site of a Bureau of Meteorology rain
gauge since at least 1969 when Waikerie residents
Albert and Gladys Noll were recording rainfall at
“Being a dryland farmer and running sheep on
the farm, I found keeping track of the rainfall quite
interesting,” Mr Duffield said.
“And I guess I also inherited the role as rainfall
observer and recorder for this area after purchasing
the property from Albert and Gladys...”
Retired farmer Bob said he finds the rain patterns
fascinating, and although he is no longer the official
recorder, he still likes to keep track of the rainfall
for his own records. He also keeps notes on other
weather events, recording frosts, hail and heavy
winds, among other information.
“Although I retired as observer and recorder of
the rainfall, my son Craig provides me with the
recordings and I write them into my own rainfall
register logbook,” he said.
“Rainfall is an important topic for anyone who
lives on the land, and it is interesting in that some
years you think you can see a rainfall pattern occur-
ring but then something happens in the weather to
blow your theory.
“We have an allocated station or site number and
BOM (Bureau of Meteorology) provides us with the
rain gauge and all of the required paperwork.
“BOM has also provided us with the rainfall
charts for Ramco dating back to 1896, and although
we aren’t completely sure where it was actually
measured from, they are interesting when making
comparisons in any given year.”
Prior to Federation, meteorological observations
were recorded on behalf of the colony of South
Australia by the Adelaide Observatory, which was
built in 1856.
By 1905, South Australia and the Northern
Territory had 510 rain stations, 22 of which were
equipped for all meteorological observations.
Other weather stations are within a 50km radius
of the Duffields’ property, including at the Waikerie
council works depot and Eremophila Park, Murbko,
Overland Corner, Brenda Park, Morgan, Mount
Mary, Bower, Swan Reach (Ponderosa), and Swan
Reach, Blanchetown’s lock one and Wyn-Moor,
New Well (Marfield) and Sedan at Yookamurra
BOM provides observers of rainfall with an offi-
cial rain gauge as well as a monthly chart sheet to
manually write in the daily measurements, and the
totals are tallied at the end of the month.
The completed sheet is then mailed to BOM and
the rainfall data is then uploaded to its website.
The standard instrument for the measurement of
rainfall is the 203mm (8 inch) rain gauge.
This is a circular funnel with a diameter of
203mm that collects the rain into a graduated and
calibrated cylinder, while the top of the rain gauge
is 0.3m above the ground.
The measuring cylinder can record up to 25mm
of precipitation and any excess precipitation is cap-
tured in the outer metal cylinder.
Rainfall has traditionally been measured to the
nearest 0.2mm (one point, or 1/100th of an inch
prior to 1970), although in recent years some obser-
vations are being reported to 0.1mm. Any moisture
less than this is recorded as a ‘trace’.
Mr Duffield said he still works in points rather
than millimetres and has a chart converting millime-
tres-to-points for his own records.
BOM regularly make random inspections to
properties measuring the rainfall to ensure record-
taking is consistent at the same location for accu-
racy, and Mr Duffield said the gauge must not be
shaded or close to trees and put in a clear area.
“If there is a tree nearby, the gauge must be situ-
ated double the distance away to the height of the
tree or obstruction,” he said.
Daily rainfall is measured each day at 9am local
time, however there are a number of sites which
report 48 or 72 hour totals (or occasionally longer)
over weekends if the observer is unable to be present.
In 2001 Mr Duffield received a certificate of rec-
ognition from the then Prime Minister John Howard
for his “extraordinary contribution to his commu-
nity and Australia”.
“There are people that have been doing the job
for BOM a lot longer than me but I have enjoyed
my role over the years and continue to take an inter-
est in the rainfall for our rural region like many oth-
ers who work on the land,” Mr Duffield said.
For further information and records on our
region’s rainfall and weather patterns, visit the
Bureau’s website (www.bom.gov.au/climate/
‘Cultural opportunity’ in
Berri heritage building
LOCALS are being offered a rare
opportunity to bring a creative new
lease of life to a heritage property
The building, located at 23
Wilson Street, currently houses
the River Lands Gallery and will
be available in 2017 for a suitable
operator to activate for alternate
Suitable operators will have the
building rent-free, however the suc-
cessful applicant will be responsible
for costs associated with the set-up
and ongoing occupation.
Country Arts SA is seeking an
operator who can bring creative and
engaging ideas to maximise this
building and “add to the cultural
richness of the Riverland”.
A Country Arts SA spokesperson
said the organisation believes the
arts can be a catalyst for tourism,
employment and economic develop-
“We seek an operator who shares
this vision for the benefit of the
wider community as well as their
own enterprise,” the spokesperson
Partnerships between arts, health,
community and tourism are among
those encouraged to apply.
The building, located in the heart
of Berri’s CBD, is surrounded by
an area offering speciality shops,
eateries, services, the Town Hall and
The property was originally
built in 1917 as the ‘Old Irrigation
Office’ and in 1996 was renovat-
ed by Country Arts SA to provide
office and gallery space opportuni-
ties for the community.
SA chief executive
officer Steve Saffell
(pictured) said it
was rare that spaces
intended for arts use
in such a prominent
business location are
made available rent-free to commu-
nity-minded organisations and indi-
“Country Arts SA has managed
this space as a gallery for the
Riverland region over the last 20
years with the support of a number
of passionate and dedicated
volunteers and we now have an
opportunity to help others in the
community realise their own
creative vision,” he said.
Information for submitting
expressions of interest can be found
through the Country Arts SA web-
Some years you think you
can see a rainfall pattern
occurring but then
something happens in the
weather to blow your theory...
- Bob Duffield
Links Archive January 17th 2017 January 24th 2017 Navigation Previous Page Next Page