Cyclone Tauktae: What’s the meaning of ‘Tauktae’? Decoding process of naming tropical cyclones – Your 5-point guide

People move a fishing boat to a safer place along the shore ahead of Cyclone Tauktae in Veraval Gujarat. (Reuters photo)

What Does ‘Tauktae’ Mean, How Tropical Cyclones are Named: Cyclone Tauktae, the first cyclonic storm that has hit India in 2021, has intensified into an extremely severe cyclonic storm, according to the latest update by the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD). After impacting the lives in Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu, Cyclone Tauktae is slowly moving towards Gujarat. Neighbouring Maharashtra has been experiencing heavy rainfall all day today. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has just now spoken with Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray over the bandobast regarding Cyclone Tauktae. So, how the cyclone got its name? Does Tauktae mean anything? Do we know about the next cyclone? In case you have these questions in your mind, here’s your simple, 5-point guide on cyclone-naming followed by global authorities. Here’s all you need to know:

  1. What’s the meaning of Tauktae? Well, the name has been suggested by Myanmar. The name comes from the Burmese language and it means a ‘gecko’ or a very hitch-pitched lizard.
  2. Scary! So, who gets to name the cyclones? There is a global panel –the World Meteorological Organisation/United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Panel on Tropical Cyclones – this world body also includes regional specialised meteorological centres as well as Tropical Cyclone Warning Centres. It is this body that prepares the names of the cyclones/storms around the world. The regional centres are also responsible for issuing warning/advisories in that location.
  3. Fine. India is also part of this network? Yes, India along with 12 other nations are members of this panel. India’s IMD suggests names of future cyclones and also issues guidelines in case of a cyclone. Other nations that are part of this network include Bangladesh, Maldives, Myanmar, Oman, Iran, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Qatar, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.
  4. Got it. There’s a world network and a bunch of countries. Where’s the cyclone list? See, this global network works with the regional centre to prepare a list of cyclone names. Naming the cyclones help the people to remember the incident. It also helps the authorities to disseminate correct information. The recall value is also very high. A list of cyclone names exhausted last year with Cyclone Amphan. This list was prepared in 2004. In 2018, the global weather network also admitted five more nations. A new list was released o April 28, 2020. So far, four names have already been used. These are – Nisarga, Gati, Nivar and Burevi. Tauktae is the fifth name on the list.
  5. So we already know the name of the next cyclone? Yes, since the list has been made public, we know that the next cyclone would be named Yaas. It is a name that has been suggested by Oman.

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