New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Amphan is a severe cyclonic storm that is set to hit the coast of West Bengal's Digha and Hatia Islands of Bangladesh during the afternoon or evening of May 20. The tropical cyclone had intensified into a super cyclonic storm between May 17 and 18, according to IMD. At least 19 teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been deployed in West Bengal in view of the approaching cyclone. The cyclone Amphan comes a year after cyclone 'Fani' on May 3, 2019 that claimed the lives of 64 people.

What is a cyclone?

According to meteorology, cyclone is a large scale of mass that rotates around a strong centre of low atmospheric pressure. It is characterised by strong winds, thunderstorms and heavy rainfall. When a storm develops over the Indian ocean, it is referred to as tropical cyclones or severe cyclonic storms.

How are cyclones named?

Usually, the year's first tropical storm is given the name beginning with letter A and second with B and so on.

For the Indian Ocean region, naming of cyclones began in 2000 and formula was agreed in 2004. Eight countries in the region-- Thailand, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Oman, Myanmar, Maldives, Bangladesh and India contributes to a set of names assigned sequentially whenever a cyclonic storm develops.

Also Read: Cyclone Amphan | India sees second super cyclone after 1999, here's all you need to know about it

The list was extended in 2018 to include five more countries-- Yemen, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Qatar.

The last cyclone Fani was named by Bangladesh. India has so far named Agni, Akash, Bijli, Jal, Lehar Magh, Sagar and Vayu. According to weather.com, Amphan is suggested by Thailand. It was proposed back in September 2004 for storms over north Indian ocean.

Cyclones that form in every basin around the world are named by Tropical Cyclone Warning Centres (TCWCs) and Regional Specialised Meteorological Centres (RSMCs). There are a total of five TCWCs in the world and six RSMCs, including the India Meteorological Department (IMD).

IMD names the cyclones that develop over north Indian ocean, including the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea following a standard procedure. The Meteorological Department is also mandated to issue advisories to 12 other countries in the region on the development of cyclones and storms.

Last month, the IMD listed names of 169 cyclones provided by these countries. There were 13 suggestions each from 13 countries. The new list also includes cyclone Amphan, which remained unused at the time of release.

Is it important to name cyclones?

Tropical cyclones and subtropical cyclones are named by various warning centres to provide ease of communication between forecasters and people regarding warnings and forecasts. The names are aimed to reduce confusion in case of multiple storms in the same basin.

Adopting names for cyclones makes it easier for the general public to remember. It also helps the media, disaster managers, scientific community, and others. Naming cyclones makes it easy to identify individual cyclones, create awareness, send warnings to increase preparedness and remove confusion in case of multiple cyclones over a region.

Posted By: James Kuanal