Why do cyclones have human names

This article explains the cyclone weather phenomenon; for other meanings, see cyclone (disambiguation). To the subject Cyclones see low pressure area.
Cyclone off the Indian coast

As cyclone (from Greek κυκλῶν kyklon "Rotating") is used in meteorology to describe the tropical cyclones in the Indian Ocean and in the southern Pacific Ocean. The tropical cyclones in the southern Atlantic Ocean, which have so far rarely occurred, were also referred to as cyclones, provided they reached wind speeds of hurricane strength. In other parts of the world a tropical cyclone is called either a hurricane or a typhoon.

Areas of formation of cyclones

Cyclones have three main areas of origin. In the northern Indian Ocean (in short: Indic) they arise mainly in the period before and after the summer monsoon, in the months of May and June as well as October and November, either in the Arabian Sea or in the Bay of Bengal. In the Indian Ocean south of the equator, cyclones occur during the summer months in the southern hemisphere. These cyclones endanger Mauritius, La Réunion, Madagascar and the African east coast in particular. Tropical cyclones also form in the waters around Australia between November and April. These arise mainly in the Arafura Sea and particularly endanger the Northern Territory and the north of Western Australia as well as in the Coral Sea. They either migrate west to the Queensland coast or southeast, where they endanger the island states of the southern Pacific.

Northern Ind

The main danger from the tropical cyclones in the North Indies is in the low coastal areas of East India, Bangladesh and Myanmar due to the waves, which can be more than ten meters high. In addition, there are floods due to the often very high amounts of precipitation that a tropical cyclone brings with it. The cyclone in East Pakistan in 1970, which killed 300,000 to 500,000 people, is considered to be the most momentous cyclone of all. One of the heaviest cyclones in recent years hit on 29./30. October 1999 with wind speeds over 260 km / h on the mainland of East India. Over 50 ships sank in the port of Paradip (one of the main sea ports of the Indian state of Orissa); over 10,000 people died.[1][2][3]

Among the significant cyclones in the Northern Indic are:

  • nameless cyclone from 1970 (November 7-13, 1970, East Pakistan, between 300,000 and 500,000 fatalities)
  • nameless cyclone from 1977 (November 14-20, 1977, East India, around 10,000 fatalities) [4]
  • nameless cyclone from 1991 (April 22-30, 1991, Bangladesh, over 138,000 fatalities)
  • nameless cyclone from 1996 (November 1-7, 1996, East India and Bangladesh, 621 fatalities) [5]
  • nameless cyclone from 1998 (June 1-9, 1998, India, over 3000 fatalities) [6]
  • nameless cyclone from 1999 (October 25 - November 3, 1999, East India, over 10,000 fatalities)
  • Cyclone Sidr (November 11-16, 2007, Bangladesh, min. 3447 fatalities)
  • Cyclone Nargis (April 27 - May 3, 2008, Myanmar, around 130,000 fatalities)

Southwest Indic

In the south-western part of the Indian Ocean, cyclones lead to landslides and flash floods, mainly due to heavy, continuous uphill rain in the rugged mountains of Réunion and Madagascar.

Significant cyclones in the south-west of India were:

  • Cyclone Hyacinthe
  • Cyclone Gamede

Waters around Australia

  • Cyclone Tracy in December 1974
  • Cyclone Larry in March 2006
  • Cyclone Yasi in February 2011

South Pacific

In the southern Pacific there is a risk mainly due to the often only low altitude that is reached by the islands of Oceania.


The names for a tropical cyclone in the Indian Ocean are often used (the cyclone, Pl. the cyclones) and a low pressure area in general (the cyclones, Pl. the cyclones) mistaken.

See also

  • Accumulated Cyclone Energy
  • List of names of tropical cyclones
  • North Indian cyclone season 2008

Web links

 Wiktionary: cyclone - Explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ↑ http: //www.drk.de/latest_news/messages/306.html
  2. ↑ http: //www.tagesschau.de/aktuell/mommunikations/0,1185,OID6453158_TYP6_THE_NAV_REF1_BAB,00.html (no longer available online)
  3. ↑ http: //www.tagesschau.de/ausland/birma420.html (no longer available online)
  4. ↑ https: //www.berlinonline.de/berliner-zeitung/archiv/.bin/dump.fcgi/1999/1101/none/0009/index.html
  5. ↑ http: //www.spiegel.de/panorama/0,1518,517932,00.html
  6. ↑ http: //www.geographixx.de/naturkatastrophen/sturm.asp