The recent cyclone that hit the Indian state of Gujrat on the night of 17 May 2021, was named “Tauktae”. But one can wonder that from where the name of the cyclone comes, and who gave these names to the cyclone that usually appears in the Arabian sea and Indian ocean.

The name of the recent cyclone “Tauktae” was proposed by a meteorologist from Myanmar. The word tauktae was means a particular type of distinctively vocal lizard. And the previous storm that hit the east coast of India was named “nivar” which was given by Iran. But one can think that why this name was given by Myanmar and Iran that hit the coastal areas of India. The name of the storm was not given to them once they originated, one can wonder about it but yes! It is the truth that name of these cyclones was given long before they originated and was given by the countries that surround the basin in which these cyclones or storm originates. So yes we have all these answers present for you in this article.


The history of naming cyclones was dated back to the 19th century. Previously the meteorologist used to give the name to the cyclone by the name of cities that these cyclones hit, or the year of occurring of the cyclone, or the name of the saint on which days they hit. But during the early 19th century the naming of these cyclones was not well defined that how should the name of these cyclones be given. During the 20th century, the western meteorologist starts giving the name to the cyclone with the name of girls for ease but it appears to be gender-biased and this idea was given off due to some protests.

In 2000 world meteorologist Organization(WMO) starts naming this cyclone originating in the Indian ocean basins from the lists of names that were proposed by the countries surrounding the basins.

Process of naming

There are six regional specialized meteorological centers (RSMCs) and five regional Tropical Cyclone Warning Centres (TCWCs) in all over the world that are responsible for issuing warning and alerts for the cyclones that are originating in the respected region the Indian IMD’s RSMCs is among the one that is in new Delhi. it issues warning for the cyclone to the 13 countries that surround the Indian ocean basin. The 13 countries are Bangladesh, India, Thailand, Iran, Maldives, Yemen Myanmar, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, United Arab Emirates, and Myanmar.

The RSMC in new Delhi besides issuing a warning is also responsible for naming the cyclones that originate in the Bay of Bengal and Indian ocean. It takes the suggested names from the surrounded countries and the name of the cyclone was given one by one. The few set of rules are there for naming the names of the cyclone is that: the name of the cyclone should not be politically or culturally contradicted, it should not give a cruel or a rude look and it should be short in length so that it should be easily pronounced. The maximum length that is allowed is 8 letters.

In 2020 the new lists, containing the name of the cyclone were issued, as the previous list’s name was all fully occupied which was issued in 2004. The current lists contain the suggested names from the 13 member countries. Each member gives 13 names for the cyclone, which means the 169 names are suggested. Each was given one by one. The cyclone tauktae is the 5th name on the list.

According to the WMO guideline, the storm which is the most severe name will be retired and should not be given to any cyclone again.

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