Attention Deficit Disorder Prosthetic Memory Program

Tropical Cyclone Naming

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Tropical cyclones and subtropical cyclones are named by various warning centers to simplify communication between forecasters and the general public regarding forecasts, watches, and warnings. The names are intended to reduce confusion in the event of concurrent storms in the same basin. Generally once storms produce sustained wind speeds of more than 61 km/h; 38 mph, names are assigned in order from predetermined lists depending on which basin they originate. However, standards vary from basin to basin: some tropical depressions are named in the Western Pacific, while tropical cyclones must have a significant amount of gale-force winds occurring around the centre before they are named in the Southern Hemisphere.

Before the formal start of naming, tropical cyclones were named after places, objects, or saints’ feast days on which they occurred. The credit for the first usage of personal names for weather systems is generally given to the Queensland Government Meteorologist Clement Wragge, who named systems between 1887 and 1907. This system of naming weather systems subsequently fell into disuse for several years after Wragge retired, until it was revived in the latter part of World War II for the Western Pacific. Formal naming schemes and naming lists have subsequently been introduced and developed for the Eastern, Central, Western and Southern Pacific basins, as well as the Australian region, Atlantic Ocean and Indian Ocean.

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