TIRUPATI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his 79th ‘Mann ki Baat’ radio address of the nation on Sunday, mentioned Sai Praneeth B, popularly known as ‘AP Weatherman’, who provides real-time weather forecasts in simple terms for districts across the state.
Sai Praneeth is a 24-year-old software engineer and university gold medalist. Through his social media presence, he offers weather forecasts on a daily and weekly basis. He also provides information to various farmer groups in Rayalaseema and East Godavari regions via phone calls.
The youth’s weather updates helped people in both rural and metropolitan areas, particularly farmers who formed a majority of his YouTube and Facebook followers.
In his radio address, the Prime Minister introduced the AP weatherman as a perfect example of how “technology is being harnessed for greater good”.
“Sai Praneeth has creatively put technology to good use, to help many farmers across Andhra Pradesh whose livelihoods have been affected due to a lack of real-time weather updates. Using his talent, he carefully analyses and breaks down the weather data he procured from different data sources, and explains these in simpler terms so that it helps farmers,” the PM noted.
Later, talking to Deccan Chronicle from his home, Praneeth revealed that his love for weather turned into an opportunity as he hared weather updates with this daily in 2015-16.
“I had a formal education on reading weather. Back in Chennai, when I was pursuing my Electrical and Electronics Engineering in Anna University, I used to provide weather updates to my friends. Later, I got the opportunity to provide weather updates to Deccan Chronicle during the floods in Chennai in 2015-16,” he said.
Praneeth spent his childhood moving and relocating from one place to another due to his father’s work. In one such transfer, he and the family lived in Tirupati. Since his schooldays, Praneeth was curious about the clouds hovering over the sky. He turned himself into a weather blogger by himself after reading books on climate sciences and related phenomena.
One day, Praneeth saw some news channels reporting that there would be no rain, while some other channels said it would rain. Like farmers, he too was confused. Finally it rained that day and crops were damaged.
At this moment, Praneeth unleashed the weather blogger in him and started offering real-time weather updates through his blog.
“There are several websites run by the government and private organisations but it is difficult to understand the data provided by many of these. I procure data from many such sources and carefully analyse and present it in simple terms. I also translate it in local languages for farmers,” Praneeth said.
It was from August 2020 that Praneeth started regularly giving updates on social media. He wrote an automated code that helps him gather relevant weather data from various sources. He compiles the data and posts it on social media handles.
“I spend more time on the AP Weatherman work than on my job. Whenever I get a break from my work, I turn to social media handles to provide timely updates. My primary aim is to prevent loss of livelihood for farmers, especially in coastal districts, due to climate change,” Praneeth said....