Weather bureau recognises Monduran man's 50 years of service

WEATHER WATCHER: Jim Mullett has been awarded for 50 years of service to the Bureau of Meteorology. Photo: Zach Hogg / NewsMail
WEATHER WATCHER: Jim Mullett has been awarded for 50 years of service to the Bureau of Meteorology. Photo: Zach Hogg / NewsMail Zach Hogg BUN150814WEA1

THE Bureau of Meteorology would not be the trusted weather experts in this country without blokes like Jim Mullett.

From as early as seven years of age, Mr Mullett has been recording rainfall figures and flood warnings for the Kolan River for the bureau from his homestead at Monduran.

While he may now be a grown 57-year-old man, it's a tradition he has kept up daily for the past half a century.

And it's for his dedication that Mr Mullett has been officially recognised by the bureau (BOM) for 50 years of service.

"They've got records of me doing it from a very young age," he said.

Although one might think the way rainfall data was collected would have changed since the '60s to make way for modern technology, Mr Mullett has been recording these statistics almost the same way he did when he first began.

"It's one of those old fashioned systems still in place," he said.

"The forms we fill out are only slightly altered from the forms that we filled out in 1960."

Mr Mullett said the rainfall data was collected daily, and posted to the bureau each month while the flood warnings were only collected during such an event.

"The difference is 15 years ago they brought a system in that connected to your landline that you could send (the report) through the phone line," he said.

"Only in the past couple of years has it been that we can send it through the internet."

While he may have missed checking the figures a day or two over the years, Mr Mullett checks the rainfall at 9am each day at Monduran Station.

"The gauge for the flood warning in the Kolan River would be one of the most dangerous operational gauges," he said.

"Even on Thursday when the bureau people were here, they have now deemed it a little too dangerous to read."

To access the gauge, Mr Mullett is forced to carefully make his way down a very steep embankment to get to the river.

"It's quite a drop down," he said.

"One of our locals ended up in the river this year - it's not the easiest of gauges to get to."

Mr Mullett said the family property went 15 years without recording any movement on the flood gauges.

"We were starting to wonder whether we needed the flood gauge again," he said.

"But in the last three years, they've been looked at very regularly.

"The second flood last year was the highest event that I have witnessed."

BOM QLD regional director Rob Webb said Mr Mullett was one of about 1200 rainfall data volunteers across the state.

"A record of 50 years is very rare for us to have that continuity of record in the bureau," he said.

Mr Robb said the tireless work of Mr Mullett was incredibly valuable.

"He's leaving a legacy for the future generations," he said.

Topics:  bureau of meteorology kolan river rainfall

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