NAMING OF CYCLONES
Following the series of destruction caused by recent cyclones across several Indian states from Tauktae, formed over the Arabian Sea which hit the western coast in May 2021 and caused massive damage in Maharashtra and Gujarat to another cyclonic storm formed in the Bay of Bengal, known as cyclone Yaas, the discussion on the formation, tracking, naming and so on sparked the curiosity regarding the factors involved ,revolving the components it is surrounded with. One of which is; How the cyclones are named?
But before the analysis of comprehensive specific matter ,to know what Cyclones are and how they’re formed is equally important as well. The Article infra tends to project the brief summary reflecting foundational information regarding Cyclones and their process of naming with international recognition.
MEANING AND FORMATION
The term Cyclone is derived from the Greek word Cyclos which means Coiling of the Snake. Cyclones are formed in the low-pressure area. The topography and the intensity as well as frequency of cyclones that could strike a coast deciding the vulnerability of the place.
The temperature difference between the warm, rising and the cooler environment led to the rise of air to become buoyant and then moves to upward. Then the high-pressure area fills the air in the low-pressure area. This cycle continues as warm air rises and a low-pressure area filled with cool air. They build up over a period of time. The warm, moist air rises and cools the water in the air and forms clouds. The whole system of clouds and wind spins and grows, fed by the ocean’s heat and water evaporating from the ocean surface.
The responsible factor is the atmospheric disturbances around a low-pressure area which are usually accompanied by violent storms and severe weather conditions. RESPONSIBLE FACTORSThere are mainly six factors engaged with the causes being;
✓ Sufficient warm temperature at sea surface;
✓ Atmospheric instability;
✓ Impact area of Coriolis force so that low pressure can be developed;
✓ High humidity in the lower to middle levels of the troposphere;
✓ A pre-existing low-level focus or disturbance; and
✓ Low vertical wind shear.
TYPES OF CYCLONES
Mainly the Cyclones are categorised as Tropical and extra tropical but there exists more categories it can be put into namely;
1) Tropical Cyclone2) Hurricanes/Typhoons and Tornadoes3) Mesocyclones4) Mid-latitude or Extra-tropical Cyclones and,5) Polar Lows, aka “Arctic Hurricanes”
HOW ARE CYCLONES NAMED?Whenever the speed of a cyclone is tracked at a measure beyond 34 nautical miles per hour, for the purpose of global recognition or to promote the alertness with subject centric ,to provide it with a name becomes important. If the speed of the storm reaches or crosses 74 mph, it is then classified into a hurricane/cyclone/typhoon.
Originated from ocean basin globally, the subject to name cyclones fall within the jurisdiction of Regional Specialised Meteorological Centres (RSMCs) and Tropical Cyclone Warning Centres (TCWCs). To count on , there are total of six RSMCs in the world, including the India Meteorological Department (IMD) which also provides tropical cyclone advisories to 13 member countries including Bangladesh, India, Iran, Maldives, Myanmar, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.
Since 2000, the cyclonic storms are continued to be named by The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) andthe United Nations Economic and Social Commission for the Asia Pacific (ESCAP) .The India Meteorological Department (IMD) generally names the cyclones that develop over the north Indian Ocean, including the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea. Before approving any name, cultural and social sensitivity is also looked upto to.
The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) maintains rotating lists of names, which are appropriate for each tropical cyclone basin. If a cyclone is particularly deadly or costly, then its name is retired and replaced by another.
Generally, the name list is proposed by the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHS) of the WMO members of a specific region and approved by the respective tropical cyclone regional bodies at their annual or biennial sessions. Currently there are 169 names in the list for upcoming cyclones inclusive of Cyclone Gul-aab, from Pakistan.
WHY ARE CYCLONES NAMED?The rational behind naming a cyclone lies with the ease to cover the Individuality of the cyclone specific and smooth promotion of awareness amongst the commoners, scientific experts, media and etc. Some of the reasons can be listed as;
a. Quick identification of each cyclone,b. Awareness regarding the status of the growth and approach towards region,c. To reduce confusion in case of concurrent incident of several cyclones within similar region,d. Effective and quick penetration of information to general public.
Before naming a cyclone several measures are observed to sideline any possible controversy including the same. Some of which are;
✓ The name must be neutral to politics and political figures,
✓ Religious sensitivity, beliefs of individuals, cultural and genders evenness.
✓ It must not hold potential to offend any group of individuals across the world.
✓ It must not represent cruelty or reference of any element which is considered evil in nature.
✓ The name must not be confusing, rather easy to pronounce and short.
✓ It must be restricted to maximum eight words ,provided with its pronunciation and spelling by the proposing and approving authorities.
✓ The names of cyclones developing over the north Indian Ocean gets ceased to be repeated again.
EXAMPLES OF CYCLONE NAMING AND REFERENCES
• The current cyclone ‘Tauktae‘ has been named by Myanmar after a reptile which means ‘Highly Vocal Lizard‘.
• The Cyclone ‘Yaas‘ is named by the country Oman, and it means a tree.
• ‘Amphan‘, pronounced as “Um-pun”, means sky was named by Thailand in 2004, almost 17 years ago.
• ‘Nisarga‘, traced recently in the Arabian Sea, means nature and was termed by India’s neighbouring country Bangladesh.
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