Meet the 'Coimbatore Weatherman' who is helping farmers with accurate weather predictions
Agriculture is a major source of livelihood in India. Availability of water and climate are important for overall growth and production in the agricultural sector.
Tracking climatic patterns is highly relevant for crop production. As it needs expertise, a few government initiatives and individuals have been trying to help the farmers address the problems in this area. One of them is G Santhosh Krishnan, who is also known as Coimbatore Weatherman on his Facebook page, which has more than 6,800 followers.
The son of a farmer himself, Krishnan knew the need for accurate climate updates by the farmers who would plan their crop accordingly. Hence, he came up with the Facebook Page.
Speaking to Edex Live, he said,
“I started the Coimbatore Weatherman page on Facebook in November 2017. During 2016-17, there was a drought in Coimbatore, especially in the rural areas. As I come from an agricultural background, I got the first-hand experience of the difficulties experienced by the farmers and wanted to find a way to help them.”
Though Krishna has a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, Krishnan has been interested in weather forecasting since childhood. According to The Hindu, he used to help his grandfather in farms during which he also learnt about observing weather patterns.
Speaking to The Hindu, he said,
“Everything that my grandfather taught me was based on his observations. When I was studying in Class X, I started to look for the scientific reasons behind it. Thanks to the Internet, I learnt about concepts like pressure, humidity, precipitation, and wind convergence and how they affect the rainfall.”
In 2011, he came across an internet community called Kea Weather Blog, with weather experts from across the country. He also interacted with them to clear his doubts.
Starting the Facebook page
Krishnan attracted 15 followers in the first week. With the monsoon arriving, the numbers of followers increased.
He added, “Now, many farmers get in touch with me before they take decisions on farming. I even get requests from people to predict the weather before they fix a date for any function.”
In terms of providing information, Krishnan keeps updating his page with the current weather conditions and seasonal forecasts, at least for the next three months. The regions covered by him include the Nilgiris, Erode, Salem, Krishnagiri, Dharmapuri, Namakkal, Karur, Tiruppur, and Theni.
For his sources, Krishnan follows the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasting and Global Forecasting System. According to him, the system gives Krishnan different parameters, which helps him predict weather forecast.
He was quoted by the The Hindu as saying,
“I predicted the Gaja cyclone in 2018 and Fani in May 2019. I updated my page with information on its course three days in advance to avoid panic.”
One can find a weather sensing device installed on the terrace of his home which gives the parameters for one kilometre of the radius. From this, he reads the inputs on the monitor kept in his room for his personal use.
(Edited by Rekha Balakrishnan)