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How Are Cyclones Named, How Are They Classified

Representative pic

Representative pic

Hurricanes, cyclones, and typhoons are all the same weather phenomenon, but they have got different names in different parts of the world.

Know all about cyclones including their origin, classification and other important aspects.

a) What is a cyclone?

Cyclone is a weather phenomenon. Cyclone refers to many different types of storms. It is a system of winds rotating inwards to an area of low barometric pressure, with an anticlockwise or clockwise circulation.

b) What are cyclones, hurricanes typhoons?

Hurricanes, cyclones, and typhoons are all the same weather phenomenon, but they have got different names in different parts of the world. For example - Hurricane in the Atlantic, Typhoon in the Pacific and Cyclone in the Indian Ocean.

c) How are cyclones named?

At present, tropical cyclones are officially named by one of the eleven warning centers spread across the globe under the aegis of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). All cyclone names are submitted to the World Meteorological Organization Regional Tropical Cyclone Committee for the SE Pacific for final approval. This committee can (and often does) reject or adjust names that are submitted to it and may substitute their own name. The process also involves several countries in the region. A name is selected on the basis of a popular mandate.

To get names more organised, weather scientists start naming cyclones alphabetically, like a cyclone’s name starting with A, would be the first storm to occur in the year.

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If the storm causes large amount of deaths or damages, any member of the WMO's hurricane, typhoon and tropical cyclone committees, can request for the withdrawal of the cyclone's name from the naming list. A replacement name is then submitted to the committee concerned and voted upon.

d) How are cyclones classified?

cyclones are classified on the basis of the wind speed.

The lowest official classification used in the North Indian Ocean is a Depression, which has 3-minute sustained wind speeds of between 20–31 mph (31–49 km/h).

Deep Depression: If the depression intensifies further then it will become a Deep Depression, which has speeds of between 32–38 mph (50–61 km/h).

Cyclonic storm: If the Deep Depression develops gale force wind speeds of between 39–54 mph (62–88 km/h), it is called a Cyclonic storm and the IMD assigns a name to it.

Severe Cyclonic Storm: Severe Cyclonic Storms have storm force wind speeds of between 55–72 mph (89–117 km/h)

Very Severe Cyclonic Storm: Very Severe Cyclonic Storms have hurricane-force winds of 73–102 mph (118–166 km/h).

Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm: Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storms have hurricane-force winds of 166–221 km/h (104–137 mph).

Super Cyclonic Storm: The highest classification used in the North Indian Ocean is a Super Cyclonic Storm, which have hurricane-force winds of above 138 mph (222 km/h).

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first published:December 12, 2016, 13:18 IST