New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: As Cyclone Tauktae is expected to hit the Gujarat coast on May 18, the peculiarity of its name is garnering huge attention. The name Tauktae has been suggested by Myanmar which means a vocal lizard in the Burmese language. So have you ever wondered how cyclones are named? Let us know what cyclones are in the first place.

What is a Cyclone?

The term ‘Cyclone’ comes from the Greek word Cyclos' which means a coiling snake. It is a system of wind rotating inwards in around a low-pressure area. Caused by atmospheric disturbance, cyclones are usually accompanied by severe weather conditions such as storms.

When are Cyclones named?

When the speed of a storm wind reaches or crosses 74 mph then it is considered to be a Cyclone, hurricane, or typhoon. Only when a storm becomes a Cyclone it is given a name.

How are Cyclones named?

Generally, tropical Cyclones are named, according to regional rules. For example, in the Atlantic and the Southern hemisphere which includes the Indian ocean and South Pacific, names are given in alphabetical order or it is based on the names of men and women which are alternated.

However, in the 2000s the nations in the Northern Indian ocean began using a new system of naming the cyclones. They listed the names of the cyclones alphabetically country-wise and used gender-neutral terms. Still, the common rule for naming the cyclone is to consider the name of the list proposed by the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) of WMO Members.

However, it has to be approved by the tropical cyclone regional bodies like the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) in India to avoid culturally sensitive names.

Why are cyclones named?

The practice of naming cyclones began in order to identify the storms in warning messages. It is difficult to remember technical numbers and terms of the cyclones for people. So, to increase community preparedness in case of emergency and to make it easier for media reports to spread information cyclones are given names.

What are the bodies responsible for naming the cyclones?

• ESCAP/WMO Typhoon Committee
• WMO/ESCAP Panel on Tropical Cyclones
• RA I Tropical Cyclone Committee
• RA IV Hurricane Committee
• RA V Tropical Cyclone Committee

Posted By: Sugandha Jha