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Naming of Cyclones

Topics Covered:

  1. Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, Tsunami, Volcanic activity, cyclone etc., geographical features and their location- changes in critical geographical features (including water-bodies and ice-caps) and in flora and fauna and the effects of such changes.

 

Naming of Cyclones

 

What to study?

For Prelims: A brief overview of recent cyclones and their origins.

For Mains: Classification and naming of cyclones.

 

Context: Tropical Storm Hikaa develops into Cyclone.

 

How are cyclones named?

Each Tropical Cyclone basin in the world has its own rotating list of names.

For cyclones in the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea, the naming system was agreed by eight member countries of a group called WMO/ESCAP and took effect in 2004.

 

How the names are chosen?

The member countries submitted eight names each. The first cyclone after the list was adopted was given the name in the first row of the first column — Onil, proposed by Bangladesh.

Subsequent cyclones are being named sequentially, column-wise, with each cyclone given the name immediately below that of the previous cyclone.

Once the bottom of the column is reached, the sequence moves to the top of the next column. So far, the first seven columns have been exhausted.

 

 

Why name cyclones?

  • Makes it easier for the media to report on these cyclones, heightens interest in warnings, and increases community preparedness.
  • Easier to remember than numbers and technical terms.

 

Why eastern coast of India is more vulnerable?

In addition to the storms that originate in the southeast Bay of Bengal and the adjoining Andaman Sea, breakaway typhoons over the Northwest Pacific move across the South China Sea into the Bay of Bengal, intensifying into cyclones.

In contrast, Arabian Sea cyclones are mostly their own formations and they also generally move north-west, away from India’s west coast.

Besides, the Arabian Sea is colder than the Bay of Bengal, which inhibits the formation and intensification of the cyclonic system in the former. Warm sea surface temperature is an ideal platform for cyclones.

 

 

 

Facts for prelims:

Cyclones are given many names in different regions of the world – They are known as typhoons in the China Sea and Pacific Ocean; hurricanes in the West Indian islands in the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean; tornados in the Guinea lands of West Africa and southern USA.; willy-willies in north-western Australia and tropical cyclones in the Indian Ocean.

 

Sources: pib.