Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Inigo Owen Jones | The Weather Prophet

 Inigo Owen Jones | See also HERE & HERE
The Australian long-range weather forecaster Inigo Owen Jones (1872-1954) is well written into 20th century folklore in the Australian bush. His forecasts, issued from 1925 to his death, were highly regarded by many Australian farmers, the general public and some of the media. His theory is based on the idea that the solar system is a vast electromagnetic body that is controlled by the magnetic fields of the planets. Jupiter is 1300 times larger than the Earth and has 12 moons, and the rotation of the vast orb takes ten times longer than Earth. This all combines to create a magnetic field much greater than that of the Earth. Inigo Jones discovered that when the major planets, e.g. Jupiter, moved towards the point of celestial longitude known as eighteen hours of right ascension, which points to the fixed star Vega, it caused sunspot minima. He also found that on each such occasion there was a more or less severe drought in eastern Australia. The working hypothesis from his observations is that the seasons are controlled by the magnetic fields of the four major planets and the Moon. There are longer droughts when there are more planets pointing towards Vega and floods when they are 180 degrees from Vega. Droughts cancel out floods if the planets are opposite each other at these points. Sunspot cycles are on average the same length as the cycle of Jupiter. Around the globe it is possible to show that greater sunspot activity causes more precipitation. Put simply, Inigo Jones believed that cyclical variations in the activity of the Sun - visible as sunspots - controlled the Earth’s climate, and that these variations were themselves largely determined by the orbits of Moon, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. He considered five planetary-solar cycles of 35 years, 36 years, 59 years, 71 years and 84 years, and on looking back at the Australian Growing Season rainfall of 35, 36, 59, 71 and 84 years previously, he gained an appreciation of the expected rainfall for the forecast season or year in question.  

Australian Rainfall Cycles
If one wants to know what the weather would be like on 1 January next year, one would calculate the positions of the planets on that day and then look back through the record of weather observations to a time when the planetary positions were the same. If the locations of the planets matched, then so would the weather – more or less. Or perhaps less than more, for what seemed to set Jones apart from other weather prophets were the levels of complexity he added to this basic cyclical system. It is worth noting that to make predictions with this system one needs a very, very long, unbroken series of weather observations. Jones was fond of quoting the opinion of Queensland University’s professor of mathematics that a full test of his theory could not be made without 300 years of data.

Inigo Owen Jones (1938): Why I build the Crohamhurst Observatory (HERE)