As Chennai received its first showers of this monsoon season Thursday, Pradeep John was the most sought-after source of information and updates about the weather as hordes of netizens shared and retweeted what the self-styled ‘TamilNadu Weatherman’ had to offer.
Although John clarifies himself as not being an expert on weather forecasts in his Twitter bio, the sheer number of his followers earn him the envy of traditional sources of weather updates like Skymetweather and India Meteorological Department (IMD). TamilNadu Weatherman has a following of around 2,69,000 people on Twitter, which is roughly five times that of Skymetweather with 51,800 followers. IMD has even lesser number of followers — 23,100.
“Rains probability in Chennai from today till next 6 days and its good bye to 40+C hot days from tomorrow. As i said earlier, not all spells will be widespread and dont expect rains in north chennai, when it is raining in south Chennai. Atleast each place in the city will get atleast 2-3 rainy day in the coming spell,” one of his Facebook posts read.
He also posted that in addition to Chennai, surrounding districts like Tiruvallur, Kancheepuram, Vellore, Cuddalore and Puducherry might also witness rains.
Chennai has been in the grip of a dry spell after two failed monsoon seasons. Amid the ongoing severe water crisis in parts of the state, the state government said Tuesday it was largely dependent on ground water to meet the requirements till the onset of north east monsoon in October. Chief Minister K Palaniswami has said drought and deficient monsoon had resulted in depletion of groundwater levels, but claimed the issue was not as big as it was being made out.