Humberto, Dorian, Fengsheng, Cyclones that struck twice

November 21, 2019 12:13 PM |

Hurricane Dorian

Earlier there was no chronology as such followed for naming the Cyclones including the Indian basins. In fact, for the Indian basin, it started only after Odisha Cyclone.

The main basins are Indian Oceans, Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. The naming system for Atlantic Ocean is different while the Pacific has a different set of rules to be followed.

For Atlantic Ocean, six lists are prepared for six years. However, No storms are named with the letters Q,U,X,Y and Z. After six years, names can be repeated. However, storms which are dangerous and cause a lot of damage, those names are retired.

There are certain Cyclone names, which can be repeated in terms of less or no damage caused in the first time. Here are some examples:

Hurricane Humberto was included in the list in the year 1995. It replaced the name Hugo, which was retired in 1989, as it had caused massive damage. Humberto was a Cat 2 Hurricane and had originated around the West Coast of Africa. On August 22, it developed into a Tropical storm and the very next day, it intensified into a hurricane. At the time of its intensification, there was another storm in proximity, Iris. Due to the proximity, it moved slightly faster

The second time, Hurricane Humberto was active between September 13-26 in 2019. It became a major hurricane of the year and was the eighth named storm of this season in the Atlantic, also being the second major Hurricane. Humberto skirted and recurved from the coast of Florida. However, it approached Bermuda, thereafter, bringing in hurricane winds and causing an immense amount of damage. In fact, after Nicole in 2016, it was the strongest Hurricane to have hit Bermuda.

The name Dorian was introduced in place of Dean which struck in 2007, a Cat 5 storm causing a lot of damage, and thus, the name was retired and replaced. Dorian formed in the year 2013, but during that time, it had caused minimal damage, due to which, the name found a repeat in the list in 2019.

Thus, Hurricane Dorian again struck on August 24, 2019, and during that time, it caused massive damage, proving to be very disastrous. It was the most intense hurricane to strike Bahamas packing winds up to 295 kmph, Cat 5 hurricane winds. It resulted in the worst natural disaster in the country's history and possibly, this name would be taken out because of the damage it caused.

Pacific follows different set of rules in terms of naming and even the storms which have caused a lot of damage are used again. Also, due to the Pacific being a bigger ocean, the storms that form here have a longer track and lifespan as compared to the ones in the Atlantic.

Typhoon Fengshen had first formed in the year 2008, between June 17-27 and had caused a lot of damage as it travelled through and through Philippines. The storm had winds in excess of 200 kmph. The storm had affected HongKong, Macau, Palau, Guangdong and resulted in a total deaths of 1371 people.

Typhoon Fengshen, the second, formed in the West Pacific Ocean on November 15, 2019 did not cause any damage, as it kept on travelling in the ocean without striking any major landmass. It did become a Typhoon and affected the Iwo To islands in Japan.

Thus, while Atlantic retires the names of the storms which cause immense damage, the same rule does not apply in the Pacific, as the use of Typhoon Fengshen twice has already made it clear.

For the Indian ocean, 8 countries contribute towards naming of cyclones. Thus, 8 lists containing eight names each has been prepared. There are currently 64 names given by countries including Maldives, Thailand, Oman, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Myanmar, and the same list has been going on. Out of the 64 names, 62 have been used and only two names are left which are Soba and Amphan. Thus, the next storm which forms in the Indian basin will be named as Soba and soon a fresh list will be needed for new names.

Image Credit: Bloomberg

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