Tropical storm Shaheen: who’s behind the name?

Oman Friday 01/October/2021 19:20 PM
By: Times News Service
Tropical storm Shaheen: who’s behind the name?

Muscat: With tropical storm Shaheen currently brewing over the Arabian Sea, many of those who are observing its developments might wonder about how it was named.

Shaheen is an Arabic word that means ‘falcon’ and was provided by Qatar as part of the naming system for tropical storms that form over the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal – the northern sectors of the Indian Ocean.

The responsibility of naming tropical storms and cyclones that originate in these regions falls to the countries that border these bodies of water.

The previous cyclone was named Yaas, a name provided by Oman, while the one prior to that was Tauktae, coined by Maldives.

The countries surrounding the northern Indian Ocean region are Bangladesh, India, Iran,  the Maldives, Myanmar, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.

The naming system was adopted by the World Meteorological Organisation of the United Nations.

“Tropical cyclones can last for a week or more, therefore there can be more than one cyclone at a time,” said the WMO. “Weather forecasters give each tropical cyclone a name to avoid confusion. In general, tropical cyclones are named according to the rules at regional level.

“In the Atlantic and in the Southern hemisphere (Indian Ocean and South Pacific), tropical cyclones receive names in alphabetical order, and women and men's names are alternated,” added the organisation. “Nations in the Northern Indian Ocean began using a new system for naming tropical cyclones in 2000; the names are listed alphabetically country wise, and are neutral gender wise.”

Six lists are used in rotation. Thus, the 2019 list will be used again in 2025. The only time that there is a change in the list is if a storm is so deadly or costly that the future use of its name on a different storm would be inappropriate for reasons of sensitivity.