Official rainfall records at Tully Sugar Mill date back to 1925 (see photos top and middle right) - the year crushing at the mill began. Over these years the records have been assiduously kept by a handfull of so-called 'rainfall keepers'. One of the most dedicated was Assistant Accountant Vince Weinert who kept the raingauge for some 30 years up until his retirement in 2003.
Throughout this time the rain gauges have also been replaced. Back in 1925 a 1270 mm capacity gauge with 127 mm diameter collector was installed. The amount of rain was measured with a dipstick. This was replaced by a 700 mm capacity gauge in 1975 and installed on a pedestal to prevent damage from vehicles. A plastic graduated cylinder was kept inside which was used to measure the rain to the nearest 0.2 mm. This was replaced in 2008 with a new gauge which was installed as per the Bureau's recommendations - the tip of the collector is 305mm above ground level. A small protective fence has been built around it (see photo bottom left).
In addition to the rain gauge, a Tilting Siphon Pluviograph was installed in 1972 to measure rain intensity. This was updated in 2002 to a Tipping Bucket Rain Gauge, which records each 0.2 mm of rain via a data logger and the time it occurred. Every six months or so the data logger is sent to the Bureau and replaced.
The method of reporting has changed with the times. In the past the daily figures were rung through to the Bureau when required. Technology caught up in 2001 when a Remote Observer Terminal was set up which sent through manually entered figures via the phone line. In 2008 this was replaced with the ROTWEB internet-based system which allows instant updating of the data on the Bureau of Meteorology's website (www.bom.gov.au).
Back in 1950 Tully received 7893 mm of rain (31075 points) - see photo bottom right. This insprired the 'Golden Gumboot' on the entrace to town, shown below.
Information and some pictures courtesy of the Bureau of Meteorology.