Published: 11th September 2019
Meet Coimbatore Weatherman Santhosh Krishnan, a farmer's son who's set to study climate change
Popularly known as Coimbatore Weatherman on FB he talks about everything from weather predictions to climate change
On many an occasion, unexpected weather changes have had us cursing the weather gods for forgetting to carry our umbrellas or failing to apply sunscreen. But we can be better prepared now, thanks to the quick weather updates posted by G Santhosh Krishnan AKA Coimbatore Weatherman on Facebook. Santhosh, the son of a farmer, took to weather forecasting on social media to help farmers get accurate weather updates and plan their crop accordingly. A ME (Computer Science) graduate, he's now planning to go to the UK to study climate change and further his journey in weather forecasting.
Santhosh did not become the city's most sought-after weatherman in a day. "I started the Coimbatore Weatherman page on FB 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 first-hand experience of the difficulties experienced by the farmers and wanted to find a way to help them," he recalls. But how did he drift from the world of IT and coding to understanding Mother Nature? "I was interested in weather forecasting from childhood. I was an observer but after the advent of the internet, I started learning all the technical aspects of it. I was also a regular follower of the KEA Weather Blog where I interacted with a lot of weather observers," says the Computer Engineer.
But he wasn't accepted with open arms by people in the first few months of starting the blog, as he had only 20 followers. "I did not get disheartened and I continued posting updates for my own satisfaction. By December 2017, I got around 500 followers, which boosted my confidence. In 2018, Tamil Nadu was experiencing severe drought. But I predicted that the summer and monsoon rains would be better and they thankfully were, which gained the farmers' confidence and they started spreading the word. Today, the bulk of my followers are farmers," says Santhosh proudly.
Santhosh's predictions are not based on his intuition, they are completely backed by science and technology - he has an instrument at home for localised observation. This, however, cannot be used for forecasting. So what does he do? "I follow the AcuRite Weather Station which can tell the pressure, humidity, rainfall, wind pressure, temperature, etc, near my house. I also follow the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting and Global Forecast System for predictions covering larger areas," explains the 27-year-old. But what if the predictions are wrong? "I try to maintain accuracy. But when the time period is longer, then there are chances that the accuracy decreases," says Santhosh, adding that he does not post updates if he is not 100% sure about the accuracy and veracity.
More than a hobby, Santhosh feels that through this activity, he is giving back to society in some way. "I feel like I'm doing social service. When farmers tell me that they have had a decent harvest after they sowed seeds according to my prediction, I feel truly happy. This gives me some kind of satisfaction," Santhosh gushes. When asked about a feat that he is proud of till this day, he says, "I had suggested the routes for taking the flood relief materials during the Kerala flood which benefitted a lot of people in need. I had also predicted Cyclone Gaja in 2018 and Fani in 2019." His Facebook page has more than 6,800 followers and keeps growing every day.