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Explained: What is the procedure to name a cyclone?


New Delhi, May 16: Recently, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) released a list of 169 names of future tropical cyclones that would emerge in the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal.


The naming of there cyclones that form in every ocean basin across the world would be taking care by the regional specialised meteorological centres (RSMCs) and Tropical Cyclone Warning Centres (TCWCs). Presently, there are as many as six RSMCs in the world, including the India Meteorological Department (IMD), and five TCWCs.

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After following the procedure, the IMD names the cyclones that develop over the north Indian Ocean, including the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal. As an RSMC, the IMD also mandates to issue advisories to 12 other countries in the region on the development of cyclones and storms.

How are naming the cyclones take place?

A group of nations called WMO/ESCAP (World Meteorological Organisation/United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific), that comprised India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Maldives, Pakistan, Oman, Sri Lanka and Thailand, decided to start naming cyclones in the region.

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After these countries sent in their suggestions, the WMO/ESCAP Panel on Tropical Cyclones (PTC) would finalise the list.

In 2018, the WMO/ESCAP expanded to include Iran, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen into the list.

The list of cyclone names that are released by the IMD last month, were provided by these countries. The IMD has issued an alert for Cyclone Amphan, which is forming over the southeast Bay of Bengal and adjoining south Andaman sea.

Is it important to name the cyclones?

Naming the cyclones makes it easier for people to remember them. Apart from this, it also helps the scientific community, the media, the disaster managers etc. It would be easy to identify a cyclone, ring the emergency bells on its development and raise warnings to increase community preparedness.

While picking names for cyclones, there are set of rules that countries need to follow. If these rules and guidelines are following, the name is accepted by the PTC and finalises the selection.

The guidelines are,

1. The given name should be neutral to
a. Politics and political figures
b. Religious believes
c. Cultures
d. Gender

2. Name should be chosen as those do not hurt the sentiments of any group of population in the world

3. The name should not be rude and cruel in nature

4. It should be short, easy to pronounce and should not be offensive to any member

5. Eight letters will be the maximum length of the name

6. The presented name should be submitted with its pronunciation and voice over

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