Cyclones in the world: The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) maintains a list of names that are appropriate for each Tropical Cyclone basin. A cyclone’s name is retired and replaced by another if it is particularly deadly or costly. Tropical cyclones can last for a week or longer, so there may be multiple cyclones at any given time. To avoid confusion, weather forecasters give each tropical cyclone a name. Tropical cyclones are named, in general, according to regional rules. Tropical cyclones in the Atlantic and Southern Hemisphere (Indian Ocean and South Pacific) are given names in alphabetical order, with women and men’s names alternated.

Historical Background: Cyclones in the world

  • Years ago, the practise of naming storms (tropical cyclones) began to aid in the quick identification of storms in warning messages because names are assumed to be far easier to remember than numbers and technical terms.
  • Many people believe that giving storms names makes it easier for the media to report on tropical cyclones, increases public awareness of warnings, and improves community preparedness.
  • The use of short, distinct given names in written and spoken communications is faster and less prone to error than the older, more cumbersome latitude-longitude identification methods, according to experience.
  • These benefits are especially valuable when exchanging detailed storm information among hundreds of stations, coastal bases, and ships at sea.
  • Storms were given names haphazardly at first. Antje’s hurricane was named after an Atlantic storm that ripped the mast off a boat named Antje. Then, in the mid-nineteenth century, storms began to be given feminine names.
  • Meteorologists later decided to identify storms using names from an alphabetical list in the pursuit of a more organised and efficient naming system. As a result, a storm with an A-letter name, such as Anne, would be the first storm of the year.
  • Forecasters began using male names for those forming in the Southern Hemisphere before the turn of the century.

How the tropical cyclones are named in the beginning?

  • Since 1953, tropical cyclones in the Atlantic have been named using lists created by the National Hurricane Centre. They are now maintained and updated by a World Meteorological Organization international committee.
  • Only women’s names were included in the original name lists. Men’s names were first introduced in 1979, and they alternate with women’s names. Six different lists are used in a rotating fashion. As a result, the 2019 list will be used in 2025.
  • The only time the list is updated is when a storm is so deadly or costly that using its name on another storm would be inappropriate due to sensitivity concerns.
  • If this happens, the offending name is removed from the list and a new name is chosen to replace it at an annual meeting of the WMO Tropical Cyclone Committees (called primarily to discuss many other issues). Mangkhut (Philippines, 2018), Irma and Maria (Caribbean, 2017), Haiyan (Philippines, 2013), Sandy (USA, 2012), Katrina (USA, 2005), Mitch (Honduras, 1998), and Tracy (Darwin, 1974) are some examples of famous storm names.

How are cyclones named?

  • In the year 2000, nations in the northern Indian Ocean adopted a new system for naming tropical cyclones; the names are listed alphabetically by country and are gender-neutral.
  • The name list is usually proposed by WMO Members’ National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) in a particular region and approved by the respective tropical cyclone regional bodies at their annual/biannual sessions.

Procedure of Naming Tropical Cyclones

  • The Tropical Cyclone Regional Body responsible for that ocean basin follows a strict procedure when determining a list of tropical cyclone names at its annual/biennial meeting.
  • The ESCAP/WMO Typhoon Committee, the WMO/ESCAP Panel on Tropical Cyclones, the RA I Tropical Cyclone Committee, the RA IV Hurricane Committee, and the RA V Tropical Cyclone Committee are the five tropical cyclone regional bodies.
  • At its annual meeting, the Hurricane Committee, for example, decides on a pre-determined list of hurricane names for the next six years.
  • Members, which include National Meteorological and Hydrological Services in North/Central America and the Caribbean, proposed the pre-designated list of hurricane names. Other regions’ naming conventions are nearly identical to those in the Caribbean.
  • The alphabetical order of the names is used in some regions to create the lists. In other regions, the lists are compiled in alphabetical order by country name. Tropical cyclones are named in general according to regional conventions.
  • It’s worth noting that tropical cyclones, hurricanes, and typhoons aren’t named after anyone in particular. The names chosen are those that people in each region are familiar with.
  • Storms are given names so that people can easily recognise and remember the tropical cyclone/hurricane/typhoon that is currently affecting their area, making disaster risk awareness, preparation, management, and reduction easier.

What are the guidelines to adopt names of cyclones?

Cyclones in the world: Here are some of the guidelines that countries must follow when naming cyclones. The name is accepted by the panel on tropical cyclones (PTC) that finalises the selection if these guidelines are followed:

The proposed name should be politically and political figure-neutral, as well as religious beliefs, cultures, and gender.

  • The name should be chosen in such a way that it does not offend any group of people anywhere on the planet.
  • It should not be obnoxious or cruel in any way.
  • It should be short, easy to say, and not offensive to any of the members.
  • The name’s maximum length will be eight letters.
  • The proposed name should be accompanied by a voice over and pronunciation.
  • Tropical cyclones in the north Indian Ocean will not have their names repeated. It will no longer be used once it has been used. As a result, the name should be fresh.

Why is it important to name cyclones?

  • Using names for cyclones instead of numbers and technical terms makes it easier for people to remember.
  • It assists the scientific community, the media, disaster managers, and others, in addition to the general public.
  • Individual cyclones are easier to identify, create awareness of their progress, quickly disseminate warnings for increased community preparedness, and remove confusion where there are multiple cyclonic systems over a region when given a name.

What cyclone names has India suggested?

  • The first cyclone name chosen will be Nisarga by Bangladesh, which is in the first row of the first column. Then it will be India’s choice, Gati, and so on.
  • Following cyclones are named in a column-by-column order, with each cyclone’s name appearing immediately below that of the previous cyclone.
  • The sequence moves to the top of the next column once the bottom of the column is reached.
  • Gati, Tej, Murasu, Aag, Vyom, Jhar (pronounced Jhor), Probaho, Neer, Prabhanjan, Ghurni, Ambud, Jaladhi, and Vega are among the 13 names suggested by India in a recent list.
  • India chose some of the names based on suggestions from the general public. Before sending the names to the PTC, an IMD committee is formed to finalise the names.
  • The full list of 169 names can be found here.
Saudi JawadFengalGhazeerAsifSidrahHareedFaid
Sri LankaAsaniShakhtiGigumGaganaVerambhaGarjanaNeeba

After Hawf, the list moves on to Urmi, Neer, Pooyan etc.

Saudi KaseerNakheelHaboobBareqAlreemWabil
Sri LankaNinnadaViduliOghaSalithaRiviRudu

FAQs: Cyclones in the world

Q1 Who came up with the names for cyclones?

Answer. Clement Wragge, a well-known meteorologist, is said to have pioneered the naming of tropical cyclones in the late 1800s.

Q2 In different parts of the world, how are cyclones named?

Answer. Tornadoes are cyclones in North America, hurricanes in the southeast Caribbean, typhoons in eastern China, Japan, and the Philippines, and cyclones in the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea.

Q3 Why are cyclones named after women?

Answer. Tropical storms around the world were only given feminine names until 1975. In recognition of International Women’s Year, former Australian Minister of Science Bill Morrison decided to start naming storms after both male and female names. This was quickly adopted as a standard practise.

Q4 How do tropical cyclones around the world get their names?

Answer. In every ocean basin around the world, cyclones are named by regional specialised meteorological centres (RSMCs) and Tropical Cyclone Warning Centres (TCWCs). There are six RSMCs in the world, as well as five TCWCs, including the India Meteorological Department (IMD).

Q5 In India, how are cyclones named?

Answer. One of the six regional centres is the India Meteorological Department. It is the name given to a tropical cyclone that forms over the northern Indian Ocean and has a maximum sustained surface wind speed of 62 kilometres per hour. The name is derived from a list of suggestions organised alphabetically and by country.

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