Why this weatherman from Chennai has more than 5 lakh Facebook followers
Pradeep John’s fascination with rain started in his teens, long before he understood what climatology meant. Growing up in Chennai, every downpour resulting from cyclones made him fall deeper in love with rain.
For many years he did nothing about his passion, finishing his MBA and then working at a private firm. In 2008, however, he started a weather blog and four years later, a Facebook page. Although his initial audience was small, he constantly shared information on the weather. In his words,
It was very rare for me to even get a single comment on any of my posts. I often stayed awake in the middle of the night to write about the weather knowing well enough that only 2–3 people were going to read it.
But Pradeep's fascination with understanding weather kept him going and he did it largely for his personal satisfaction. Things, however, changed in 2015, when the floods that wrought havoc in Chennai had people looking for a reliable source of information on the possibility of rain.
At that time, Pradeep made a prediction that there wouldn't be a severe downpour on a particular day. Most other platforms had got it wrong, making the public panic. When people realised that his prediction was right, they started following him for reliable information. In a short span, more and more people heard about him and his follower base grew drastically, now standing at a little over five lakh.
Eventually, websites and channels started approaching him for weather predictions. While maintaining a full-time job with a private firm, he posts daily updates on his Facebook page to keep people in the know about the weather.
People even approach him to know about a particular city's weather conditions while planning trips and before fixing dates for any open auditorium events.
Read this in Tamil.