This Kerala Man Can Predict Rain With His Powers

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KOZHIKODE: Every day that it has rained for the past 34 years in his part of Wayanad, whether it is a thunderstorm or the thread-bare 'nool mazha', MP Vimal Kumar has without fail meticulously recorded it.

In his remote village of Muttil, first thing 72-year-old Vimal Kumar does on waking up is to check the rain gauge, consisting of a simple metal funnel and accompanying calibrated measuring cylinder installed in front of his house. After taking the daily rainfall measurement at 6 am, he diligently enters the readings in a ledger book he has printed for the purpose.

The data he has acquired, and its implications in terms of discernible climate change, has made him an impromptu consultant for a number of people, ranging from fellow coffee and cardamom cultivators to the weather bureau and confectionery giant Cadbury.

Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) regional director S Sudevan commends Vimal Kumar's endeavour. "IMD has four weather monitoring stations in Wayanad. But personal initiatives like this can provide hyper local weather information that can be of use to farmers and others in a specific locality," he said.

Vimal Kumar owns a 30-acre coffee plantation and many rain-dependent ryots of Muttil and neighbouring areas turn to him on all things associated with showers. "I began recording daily rainfall data in 1983 after observing that the yield of coffee is heavily dependent on the timing and quantity of rain which is critical for blossoming and fruit setting. Blossom showers of at least 25 mm, ideally by mid-February, and 'backing showers' of 37 mm at least within 30 days of blossom showers, helps a lot in fruit development and retention of coffee" he said. "After years of observation I can now predict the quantity of rain in mm by just watching the precipitation and its duration."


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