How Cyclone Fani got its name, why the next one will be Vayu?

Context of the topic: The topic analysis why cyclones are named and how the cyclones are named in the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea.


What is the need of naming cyclones?

  • The purpose of the move was also to make it easier for “people easily to understand and remember the tropical cyclone/hurricane in a region, thus to facilitate disaster risk awareness, preparedness, management and reduction.


Naming of the Cyclones

  • In 2004, an international panel on tropical cyclones called World Meteorological Organisation’s (WMO) consisting of eight member countries decided a naming system, which would be assigned to storms in the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea.
  • The Eight countries includes India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Maldives, Myanmar, Oman, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

  • It is usual practice for a storm to be named when it reaches tropical storm strength (winds of 34 knots).
  • These countries submitted eight names each, which are arranged in an 8×8 table.


Name selection from the list

  • The name from the list is adopted column wise, with each cyclone given the name immediately below that of the previous cyclone.
  • Once the bottom of the column is reached, the sequence moves to the top of the next column.
  • The first cyclone after the list was adopted was given the name in the first row of the first column: Onil (proposed by Bangladesh).
  • So far, the first seven columns have been exhausted, and Fani (proposed by Bangladesh) is the top name in the last column.
  • The next cyclone will be named Vayu. The lists will wind up with Cyclone Amphan, whenever it comes.


How the naming will be done when the list ends?

  • After the 64 names are exhausted, the eight countries will propose fresh lists of names.



  • For cyclones from the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea, these lists are not rotated every few years.
  • However, the lists for storms in the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific basins are rotated. Also, there is an exception if a storm causes excessive loss of life and property, its name is considered for retirement and is not repeated; it is replaced with another name.

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