Making the ways of weather accessible to the layperson are a group of up and coming weather bloggers and part-time forecasters. In public, they are being helmed, in a way, by Sai Praneeth who recently found a mention in Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s ‘Mann Ki Baat’ episode. Praneeth, a 24-year-old IT professional from Andhra Pradesh, provides timely weather updates to farmers in Telugu.
With the growing troubles of climate change, the weather all over the world has gone awry. In the span of just one year, we have seen extreme weather events like bushfires in Australia to extreme heatwaves in the US and Canada. In India, the risks of climate change needed to be made understandable to low-income groups with no access to English education. That is where this community of weather forecasters stepped in. According to a report by The Indian Express, most of these amateur weather bloggers in India are techies and college students who adopted social media as a way of reaching out to people.
Chennai’s K Srikanth, who runs a handle called ‘Chennai Rains’ on Twitter, told The Indian Express about his interest in weather forecast growing after Cyclone Thane hit Puducherry, causing widespread damage and delaying one of his business projects. He said he started out by reading research papers and holding discussions with fellow weather bloggers, before starting his own blog in 2014.
Sai Praneeth had similar beginnings, too. He started off with a Twitter handle called @APweatherman96 last year, specifically to aid farmers. His interest in weather forecast started much earlier than that, after floods hit Chennai in 2015.
“I felt that the farmers could have been saved from losses if they had access to advanced information about the weather. I felt that I would provide them with that information in Telugu,” Praneeth told The Indian Express.
Now, Praneeth has over 12,000 followers on Twitter. Check out how he disseminates weather information below:
With 190 TMC of Water in #Srisailam Project, the dam crest gates will definitely get Opened Today. No other go. Flood Water is increasing Hour By Hour.— Andhra Pradesh Weatherman (@APWeatherman96) July 28, 2021
Good News -—-Flood Discharge in Dowleswaram Project has reduced to 5.31 lakh cusecs and the Flood Water from Yellampalli and Sriram Sagar is reducing slowly.The Flood will reduce in Godavari Completely by Tomorrow Night.
— Andhra Pradesh Weatherman (@APWeatherman96) July 27, 2021
Another weather blogger, Navdeep Dahiya, said that in India, the scope of reaching the public and especially farmers is very poor. His page, Live Weather of India, has 34,000 followers on Facebook.
Here is how the page works:
Dahiya said that he ensures Hindi translations for his Facebook posts on weather, as a lot of farmers follow his page.