Why Pakistan named the Indian cyclone

Recently cyclone Vardah swept the Indian southern State of Tamil Nadu in which 18 people lost their lives along with widespread destruction of the green cover and infrastructure. Many livelihoods were uprooted and squatters displaced.

The name ‘Vardah’ means red rose in Urdu and was suggested by Pakistan. According to a report by the Indian Meteorological Department, through suggestions of several countries a comprehensive list of names of cyclones in the 1900s was formed. It was decided that the names would be feminine and that they would be in alphabetical order as the year proceeds. Later masculine names were given to the cyclones formed in the Southern Hemisphere.

The reason for such names were that they were easier to remember and identifiable for the general public.

The list was formed by eight countries – Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Myanmar, Oman, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Thailand, and covers the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea.

If anyone wants to suggest a name they can write to IMD’s Director General of Meteorology.

So as to help quick identification of tropical cyclones, the system of naming began; it also makes it easier for media to report about the storm. It’s also easier to remember these names as compare to technical terms and increases preparedness.

How does the naming happen?

E.g. If a storm is names Antara, beginning with letter A, then that means that storm is the first to occur in that year. These names are maintained by the National Hurricane Center. Before 1900, the forecasters used male names for southern hemisphere cyclones, later on the names were taken from the lists by the hurricane center.

The names are updated and maintained by the World Meteorological Organization.

Below are the list of names and the pattern in which the names are written. The name Vardah also is mentioned in the list. You can check which name will be used next time any cyclone hits the Indian Ocean.

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