Why name a Cyclone?
It’s easier and less confusing to say “Cyclone Fani” than remember the storm’s number or its longitude and latitude. It’s also easier when you have more than one storm to track
Further, it is globally accepted that naming cyclones will help in the following ways.
- It would help identify each individual tropical cyclone.
- It helps the public to become fully aware of its development.
- Local and international media become focused to the tropical cyclone.
- It does not confuse the public when there is more than one tropical cyclone in the same area.
- The name of the tropical cyclone is well remembered by millions of people as it is an unforgettable event whose name will long be remembered.
- Warnings reach a much wider audience very rapidly.
Before the formal start of naming, tropical cyclones were named after places, objects, or saints’ feast days on which they occurred. The credit for the first usage of personal names for weather systems is generally given to the Queensland Government Meteorologist Clement Wragge, who named systems between 1887 and 1907. This system of naming weather systems subsequently fell into disuse for several years after Wragge retired, until it was revived in the latter part of World War II for the Western Pacific. Formal naming schemes and naming lists have subsequently been introduced and developed for the Eastern, Central, Western and Southern Pacific basins, as well as the Australian region, Atlantic Ocean and Indian Ocean.
How are the cyclones of the northern Indian Ocean named?
- Since 1953, the Miami National Hurricane Center and World Meteorological Organization (WMO) have kept names of storms and tropical cyclones.
- WMO is a United Nations agency located in Geneva.
- But there were no names of cyclones that arose in the North Indian Ocean. The reason was that doing so was a very controversial task. In this region of ethnic diversity, there was a need to be quite careful and unbiased so that it did not hurt the feelings of the people.
- In 2004 the situation changed when the international panel, led by WMO, was dissolved and asked the countries concerned to keep the name of the cyclone coming into their respective areas.
- After that, together with India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Maldives, Myanmar, Oman, Sri Lanka and Thailand, eight countries participated in a meeting.
- These countries have submitted a list of 64 names. Every country suggests eight names for the coming cyclone. The names of cyclones from each country are taken in a certain order.
- People of member countries can also recommend names. For instance, the Government of India asks people’s advice on the condition that names are small, understandable, culturally sensitive and not provocative.
- If there is a severe storm that causes a lot of damage/destruction & causes many deaths, then its name is considered for retirement and is not used repeatedly. This is to ensure that the history and record of that cyclone is identified with a unique name. Major examples of such storms are .