(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) Oman did not have to face the fury of Cyclone Nanauk which dissipated over sea but the sultanate is ready for the next tropical storm “ with a name.
The next such storm, if any, in this region will be called Hudhud, a name contributed by Oman along with seven others to the sequential list used to christen tropical storms in the North Indian Ocean region. Of these, four names have already been used while Hudhud, Nada, Luban and Maha are awaiting their turn.
Speaking to Muscat Daily, Shishir Dube, a global expert on tropical cyclones, said the practice of naming storms (tropical cyclones) began years ago in order to help in quick identification in warning messages, 'because names are presumed to be far easier to remember than numbers and technical terms'.
Currently the vice chancellor of Amity University (Rajasthan, India), Dube said that the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) Panel on Tropical Cyclones at its 27th session held in Muscat in 2000 agreed to assign names to tropical cyclones in the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea.
''After long deliberations among member countries, naming of tropical cyclones over Northern Indian Ocean commenced from September 2004,'' said the former director of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur and former professor at the Centre for Atmospheric Sciences, IIT Delhi.
Eight countries in the region - Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Myanmar, Oman, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Thailand - all contributed a set of names which are assigned sequentially whenever a cyclonic storm develops. And now, after Nanauk, the next on the list is Oman's Hudhud.
''There is a strict procedure to determine a list of tropical cyclone names in an ocean basin(s) by the Tropical Cyclone Regional Body responsible for that basin(s) at its meetings. A proposed name must meet some fundamental criteria. It should be short and readily understood when broadcast. It must not be culturally sensitive nor should it convey some unintended meaning.''
According to Dube, names of member countries are listed alphabetically with the storm names they have contributed mentioned against them (see box). ''The names are used sequentially column-wise starting from the first row in column one to last row in column eight.''
There are five regional bodies on tropical cyclones “ the ESCAP/WMO Typhoon Committee, WMO/ESCAP Panel on Tropical Cyclones, RA I Tropical Cyclone Committee, RA IV Hurricane Committee and RA V Tropical Cyclone Committee. The Regional Specialised Meteorological Centres (RSMC) “ Tropical Cyclones are responsible for monitoring and prediction of tropical cyclones over their respective regions naming them, too.
The RSMC in New Delhi gives a tropical cyclone in the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal an identification name from the names list.
''These lists are used sequentially, and are not rotated every few years as are the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific lists,'' Dube says.
''In general, tropical cyclones are named according to the rules at a regional level. For instance, the Hurricane Committee determines a pre-designated list of hurricane names. As an example, six lists are used in rotation for the North Atlantic Ocean. Thus, the 2008 list will be used again in 2014. For the eastern north Pacific Ocean the lists are also recycled every six years. For central north Pacific Ocean the names are used one after the other.
''At IIT Delhi, we were involved in development and improvement of the operational storm surge forecasting system for North Indian Ocean countries. Presently, the Storm Surge Prediction System developed by our group at IIT Delhi is being used by many countries such as Oman, India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Pakistan etc. In December 2012, one of the operational forecaster from Oman was provided training at IIT Delhi to use the latest version of the forecast