Gulab: The story behind cyclones and their ‘weird’ names

Countries surrounding the Indian ocean basin name the storms originating in it, usually years before they even form.

Gulab

Cyclone names may look random but, they are actually chosen carefully and have a particular meaning. For instance, the last cyclone named Yaas in the eastern coastal areas of Odisha and West Bengal was given its name by Oman. ‘Yaas,’ meaning the flower jasmine in English, has its origin in the Persian language.

Who names Cyclones?

Countries surrounding the Indian ocean basin name the storms originating in it, usually years before they even form. All the 13 countries sharing the basin have already provided a long list of 169 names, with each country proposing 13 names. They are chosen one after the other from this list, as approved by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

The names of cyclones in the region are chosen by countries including Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, the Maldives, Oman, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Qatar, Iran, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. 

How are cyclones named?

According to the WMO, the names are chosen so that they are easy to remember and do not have any incendiary meanings.

While sending their suggestions, countries have to follow some rules. The proposed name should be neutral to:

 (a) politics and political figures

 (b) religious beliefs 

(c) cultures

(d) gender

Why is the cyclone named ‘Gulab’?

Pakistan named cyclone ‘Gulab.’ The word “Gulab” refers to Rose in English.

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