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New List of Names of Tropical Cyclones

  • 30 Apr 2020
  • 5 min read

Why in News

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has released a list with the names of 169 tropical cyclones that are likely to emerge over the north Indian Ocean, including the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean.

  • The report was adopted by WMO/ESCAP Panel on Tropical Cyclones (PTC) with consensus in April, 2020.
  • The current list has a total of 169 names including 13 names each for 13 WMO/ESCAP member countries.

Key Points

  • IMD, one of the six Regional Specialised Meteorological Centres (RSMC) in the world, is mandated to issue advisories and name tropical cyclones in the north Indian Ocean region.
  • The advisories are issued to 13 member countries under WMO/ESCAP Panel including Bangladesh, India, Iran, Maldives, Myanmar, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.
  • Benefits of naming : Naming of tropical cyclones helps the scientific community, disaster managers, media and general masses to
    • Identify each individual cyclone.
    • Create awareness of its development.
    • Remove confusion in case of simultaneous occurrence of tropical cyclones over a region.
    • Remember a tropical cyclone easily,
    • Rapidly and effectively disseminate warnings to a much wider audience.

Naming of the Tropical Cyclones

  • The WMO/ESCAP Panel on Tropical Cyclones (PTC) at its 27th Session held in 2000 in Muscat, Oman agreed in principle to assign names to the tropical cyclones in the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea.
  • The naming of the tropical cyclones over the north Indian Ocean commenced from September 2004.
  • This list contained names proposed by then eight member countries of WMO/ESCAP PTC, viz., Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Myanmar, Oman, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
  • The requirement for a fresh list of tropical cyclones including representation from five new member countries: Iran, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen (total 13 member countries) was tabled during the 45th session of WMO/ESCAP, held in September 2018. The session was hosted by Oman.

Panel on Tropical Cyclones

  • The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) jointly established the Panel on Tropical Cyclones (PTC)in 1972 as an intergovernmental body.
  • Its membership comprises countries affected by tropical cyclones in the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea.
  • The Panel is one of the five regional tropical cyclone bodies established as part of the WMO Tropical Cyclone Programme (TCP) which aims at promoting and coordinating the planning and implementation of measures to mitigate tropical cyclone disasters on a worldwide basis.
    • For this purpose, there are Regional Specialized Meteorological Centre (RSMC)- Tropical cyclone and Tropical Cyclone Warning Centres (TCWC) for different regions.
  • The main objective of the WMO/ESCAP Panel on Tropical Cyclones is to promote measures to improve tropical cyclone warning systems in the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea.

Tropical Cyclone

  • Tropical cyclone is an intense circular storm that originates over warm tropical oceans and is characterized by low atmospheric pressure, high winds, and heavy rain.
  • A characteristic feature of tropical cyclones is the eye, a central region of clear skies, warm temperatures, and low atmospheric pressure.
  • Storms of this type are called hurricanes in the North Atlantic and eastern Pacific and typhoons in SouthEast Asia and China. They are called tropical cyclones in the southwest Pacific and Indian Ocean region.
  • Formation: Tropical cyclones form near the equator and gain their energy from the heat that is released when water vapour condenses into rain.
  • In the southern hemisphere storms rotate clockwise and anti-clockwise in the northern hemisphere.

Source: PIB

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