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From left to right, Juan, Adrián and Ramón consult weather data from one of their stations in Granada. Pepe Marín
Meet the weathermen in the south of Spain who have gone down a storm on social media
Weather

Meet the weathermen in the south of Spain who have gone down a storm on social media

The three hobbyists, with their extensive local knowledge, have accumulated thousands of loyal followers who consult them to know exactly what the weather is doing

Ángel Mengíbar

Granada

Wednesday, 10 April 2024, 10:07

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The people of Granada province no longer look to the sky to try to predict the weather, instead they turn to social media for their meteorological information.

In fact there are dozens of Granada-based weathermen who have accumulated thousands of followers and have become a reference in the province. Some have even received financial offers to produce a specific forecast. But they don't accept the offers as their service is amateur and completely altruistic. It's a hobby that they do from the comfort of their own homes.

The Alhambra is on Juan's doorstep. In between running his tourist apartments in the lower Albaicín area of Granada city this librarian who works in the hotel business finds time to consult the data from his own weather station.

He has a weather device capable of measuring the amount of rainfall, the direction and speed of the wind and the temperature installed on the roof of the building. The device is connected to the internet so that the data is uploaded to different platforms which can be accessed by all.

"It is a system that anyone can buy and integrate wherever they want. It's affordable for everyone, it's not expensive. It measures the current data, but it does not predict the weather tomorrow. With this measurement we create a record that helps us to understand the behaviour of the weather in the area, which helps us to make a forecast," Juan Castro, who is in charge of the @meteoalbaicin account, explained to SUR's sister paper in Granada, Ideal.

He has more than 2,000 followers who appreciate Juan's meteorological content focused on the Albaicín and the surrounding area.

The Granada weathermen at work.
The Granada weathermen at work. Pepe Marín

Juan reports with data, but also with images and videos that are proving hugely popular among his followers and he's not the only weatherman in Granada. Adrián and Ramón also spend their free time studying the weather and sharing their reports online.

They base their information on official data used by national organisations such as Spain's state weather agency Aemet or the Meteored to portal forecast the weather, but with a more local touch. "There are two main models: the European and the American. Using different mathematical procedures, they calculate the probability of rain, wind or any other parameter in an area. From there, they obtain the specific forecast for a municipality. We are more of the 'granaíno' model", jokes Ramón Serrano, referring to the name in Spanish for people from Granada.

'Granaíno' model

The head of @meteovegas, an account from Vegas del Genil with around a thousand followers emphasises the local nature of his information and forecasts, as well as those shared by his colleagues in the province. "We use more local data because we know the area better and we take into account some details that the more generalist stations overlook. In addition, we share our knowledge with each other and get feedback," he adds.

During Holy Week the official forecasts from various bodies predicted rain throughout the afternoon on Maundy Thursday, but the Holy Week brotherhoods did not give up.

"I went to my own sources and there was no rain anywhere here in Granada. The previous days had been very rainy and people were very pessimistic, so I alerted the brotherhoods themselves to be prepared. In the end they went out in procession and thanked me for my forecast. They even offered me money in exchange for a prediction, but I didn't accept it. This is a hobby, not a job", reveals Adrián González, the owner of @Granada_Meteo.

Local knowledge

His profile has more than 6,200 followers, who consult the information gathered by his two stations in Ogíjares and Alomartes.

In front of La Torre de la Vela, the three amateurs analyse the weather situation in Granada city with the help of a mobile device. A tablet privately displays the numbers recorded by each station, while different internet web platforms allow free public access to any user.

It is reliable information that draws on science, but also on a certain amount of local knowledge. "We ignore all the conspiracy theories related to climate. We don't believe in them, but sometimes you see certain clouds that tell you it is going to rain a lot. We try to be right all the time, but measuring the weather is complicated," they say, showing a passion for public service for the people of Granada.

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