Published: 11th August 2021
This 21-year-old's Twitter account is the only one you need to follow to stay up-to-date with Odisha's weather
Biswajit Sahoo goes by the Twitter handle @OdishaWeather7 on Twitter and this is how he has learnt weather predictions with the help of several Good Samaritans
What are clouds? How are they formed? What is a cyclone? These and many other questions were swirling in Biswajit Sahoo's mind, especially since Cyclone Phailin (2013). The weather had the 21-year-old absolutely enraptured. But what also boggled him was how it could turn against us mortals and unleash its fury. But what could a mere student from the town of Konark in Odisha do? Well, a lot in the age of social media. Before Biswajit could be directed towards social media, he took the academic route, a path he is still treading.
"There were teachers in my school who introduced me to and helped me understand subjects like Geology and Metrology. I received a lot of guidance," says Biswajit and particularly mentions Professor Munmun. And when he did decide to pursue BSc in Geology from Utkal University, he had Professor Dinabandhu by his side, offering tips and tricks. But when he actually got on to social media, it's the other weathermen who have helped him along the way, like 'VIZAG Weatherman' AKA S Sai Kiran Suri, 'Andhra Pradesh Weatherman' AKA Sai Praneeth and 'Weather@Hyderabad' AKA Rajni. "In fact, Jatin Singh, the Founder and Managing Director of Skymet Weather Services was the one who encouraged me to start forecasting in Odia, my regional language," explains the youngster. Thus, in June 2020, Biswajit became 'Odisha Weatherman'.
He would like to pursue his MSc in Meteorology from Andhra Pradesh University or from CUSAT, Kochi
GFS (Global Forecast System), IMD GFS, ECMWF (European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts), windy.com, Tropical Tidbits — there are several weather models and portals that Biswajit is acquainted with and he uses them all to fulfil what he has always wanted to do — help people. His constant tweets are a blessing to many of those who follow him on Twitter, but to increase his reach to the rural folk, he wants to do more. But first, why does he want to reach the rural folk? "The brunt of the cyclones is often borne by those who reside in the rural areas so I would like to help them," he says. That's why, along with tweeting with Odia, he has started putting out videos about the weather in Odia too. But this is all going to lead to something bigger very soon. "I already have a closed Facebook group because farmers and rural folk are more active on Facebook. They are also active on YouTube, so I hope to start a YouTube channel very soon. It's in the works," says the hopeful student.
We might make it sound like Biswajit is an absolute veteran, but starting out, he was very nervous, he confesses. "I used to constantly wonder if people would laugh at me or even follow me," he says. But slowly and steadily, he built his confidence. And a pattern. He would tweet the all-India forecast by 9 am and the Odisha-specific forecast by 10 am. "Only after that I sit down with my books," he says. At night, he also offers a synopsis of the day to his followers.
One of his posts
"Patience! That's what one needs the most while predicting. There are others who will laugh at you when you go wrong, but you must correct your mistakes and keep moving on," says Biswajit. And that's exactly what he intends to do.