Cyclone Jawad To Reach Odisha Coast By Dec 4; Who Proposed This Name & What It Means

Bhubaneswar: A low-pressure area is very likely to emerge over the Andaman sea during the next 12 hours and move west­northwestwards and concentrate into a Depression by December 2.

If the weather system, as predicted by the IMD, intensifies into a cyclonic storm over the central Bay of Bengal around December 3, it will be called Jawad, a name proposed by Saudi Arabia.

Pronounced as ‘Jowad’, it is expected to reach north Andhra Pradesh­-Odisha coasts by the morning of December 4.

Jawad means ‘noble’, ‘generous’, ‘gracious’ and it is the 9th on the list of 169 tropical cyclones, which are likely to emerge over the north Indian Ocean, including the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean, decided by 13 countries and announced in 2020.

We have already witnessed cyclones named Nisarga, Gati, Nivar, Burevi, Tauktae, Yaas, Gulab and Shaheen.

Besides Gati (speed), India has proposed Tej (speed), Marasu (musical instrument in Tamil), Aag (fire) and Neer (water).

Notably, ‘Amphan’, which made landfall near Bakkhali in West Bengal on May 20, 2020, was the last name of the 2004 series.


The naming of cyclones across the globe is a recent phenomenon. World Meteorological Organization is usually the apex body deciding the names.

In India, or the storms arising in the Indian Ocean, the procedure of assigning names began in 2000. However, a set formula was agreed upon only in 2004 – the reason Odisha’s 1999 Supercyclone had no name. The names are given by the Indian Meteorological Department and the first tropical cyclone to be named was Onil, in 2004. It was a name given by Bangladesh.

The question as to why name a cyclone has quite an unexpectedly simple answer – for easy remembrance and tracking. It is easier to say ‘Cyclone Titli’ in 2018, than memorising the number of the storm’s longitude and latitude. Names are also helpful when there are more than one cyclones to track.

The use of short, distinctive names makes it less cumbersome. For the media, it becomes easier to report by using names. The names are also helpful in exchanging detailed storm information between hundreds of widely scattered stations, coastal bases, and ships at sea.

The cyclones that cause widespread damage and deaths usually retire. It means these names are not used at least for 10 years. New names replace those. An annual meeting by the WMO Tropical Cyclone Committees strikes off these offending names from the list.

Once officially retired, done as a mark of respect to the dead, the names are replaced with a name of the same gender and beginning with the same letter. Since 1972, as many as 50 names have been struck off, including infamous ones like Haiyan (Philippines, 2013), Sandy (USA, 2012), Katrina (USA, 2005), Mitch (Honduras, 1998).

And no, the World Meteorological Organization never runs out of names! They have a long list of names contributed by different sections of the world, the nine regions. They are North Atlantic, Eastern North Pacific, Central North Pacific, Western North Pacific, North Indian Ocean, South-West Indian Ocean, Australian, Southern Pacific and South Atlantic.


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