Explained: Why and How are Cyclones named

Bhubaneswar: The practice of naming storms (tropical cyclones) began years ago in order to help in quick identification of storms in warning messages because names are presumed to be far easier to remember than the numbers and technical terms. Many agree that appending names to storms makes it easier for the media to report on tropical cyclones, heightens interest in warnings and increases community preparedness.

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO)/ ESCAP Panel on Tropical Cyclones at its twenty-seventh session held in 2000 in Muscat, Sultanate of Oman agreed in principle to assign names to the tropical cyclones in the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea. After long deliberations among the member countries, the naming of the tropical cyclones over north Indian Ocean commenced from September 2004. Accordingly, a list of names was prepared.

Preparation of new list in 2019

During the 45th PTC Session held at Muscat in September, 2018, it was proposed to prepare the new list of names of tropical cyclones considering the fact that the existing list has only 6 unused names out of a total 64 names. The last list was prepared based on the proposed names from 8 countries. In view of the addition of 5 new countries as members of PTC during 2016-18, it was required to prepare the new list including names of all the 13 countries namely Bangladesh, India, Iran, Maldives, Myanmar, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

All the member countries provided a list of 13 names each for tropical cyclones over the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea.

Criteria for implementation of the list of names

* Regional Specialized Meteorological Centre (RSMC), New Delhi will be responsible to name tropical cyclones that have formed over the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea when they have been analysed with maximum wind speeds of 34 knots or more.

* The name of a tropical cyclone from south China Sea which crosses Thailand and emerge into the Bay of Bengal as a Tropical cyclone will not be changed.

* The names of tropical cyclones will not be repeated.

* Panel Members names will be listed alphabetically country wise.

* The names will be used sequentially column-wise.

* The first name will start from the first row of column one and will continue sequentially to the last row in the column thirteen.


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