The Sri Lanka Meteorological Dept. Director General S.H.Kariyawasam said that it has been decided to amend the names proposed by Sri Lanka for tropical cyclones due to the controversial storm created by naming the recent cyclone as ‘Mahasen’.
he World Meteorological Organization (WMO) provides information to all users worldwide. For international navigation purposes, it constantly updates all prevailing weather systems, and resort to naming each weather system for identification purposes, he explained.
“The WMO established panels for each ocean basin in countries worldwide. The panels for tropical cyclones in the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea did not use specific names before 2004. However, since 2004, weather systems even in the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea were named to facilitate easy exchange of data.
These advantages are important in exchanging detailed storm information between hundreds of widely scattered stations, coastal bases and ships at sea, Kariyawasam said.
The panel of tropical cyclones for the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea called for names for cyclones, from the meteorological agencies of the eight member countries in the region, namely, Maldives, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, India, Oman, Pakistan and Thailand.
The names so collected are listed in alphabetical order and tabled. “The cyclone before ‘Mahasen’ was called ‘Neelam’, as suggested by Pakistan, and according to alphabetical order, the next country was Sri Lanka, which submitted ‘Mahasen’,” he said. According to procedure, once a cyclone develops, a name is used according to the table for data purposes.
The proposed names from Sri Lanka in line after Mahasen include Priya, Asiri, Gigum and Soba. The next tropical cyclone within this region is to be named Phailin, a name suggested by Thailand.