Cyclone Asani is expected to bring heavy rain in and strong winds in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. India Meteorological Department (IMD) scientist RK Jenamani said the depression is currently moving towards north and will intensify first into a deep depression and later into a tropical cyclone by Monday evening.
The low-pressure area was first formed in southeast Bay of Bengal last Tuesday and became well marked on Sunday, the IMD said.
Asani is the year’s first cyclone and the first to form in the month of March in nearly two decades.
How was Asani named?
The name of the cyclone is given by Sri Lanka, according to an old list posted by the IMD on Twitter. The word Asani means ‘wrath’ in Sinhala.
IMD issues new list of Names of Tropical Cyclones over north Indian Ocean. The current list has a total of 169 names including 13 names each from 13 WMO/ESCAP member countries. Detailed Press Release available at https://t.co/dArV0Ug8nh and https://t.co/wRl94BzRXrpic.twitter.com/ge0oVz4riD
— India Meteorological Department (@Indiametdept) April 28, 2020
Asani is among the 169 storms listed by the IMD, which started with Nisarga. ‘Ampan was the last in the list released by the IMD in 2020.
Other cyclones on the list
Apart from ‘Asani’ and ‘Ampan’, the IMD list has the names of ‘Gati’, ‘Nivar’, ‘Burevi’, ‘Tauktae’, ‘Yaas’, ‘Gulab’, ‘Shaheen’ and ‘Jawad’.
The list of the names was compiled after discussions among India, Bangladesh, Iran, Maldives, Myanmar, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.
The new panel was formed in 2018.
What are tropical cyclones?
According to Australian government’s Bureau of Meteorology, tropical cyclones are low pressure systems that form over warm tropical waters.
They typically form when the sea-surface temperature is above 26.5 degrees Celsius. Tropical cyclones can continue for many days, even weeks, and may follow quite erratic paths.
Tropical cyclones are dangerous because they can produce extreme winds, heavy rainfall with flooding and damaging storm surge that can cause inundation of low-lying coastal areas.
Why do cyclones have names?
According to World Meteorological Organization (WMO), naming a storm helps send out warning notifications to people living in affected areas.
The WMO added that names are presumed to be far easier to remember than numbers and technical terms. It also said that the practice of naming storms (tropical cyclones) began years ago.
According to WMO website, initially, storms were named arbitrarily. An Atlantic storm that ripped off the mast of a boat named Antje became known as Antje’s hurricane. Then the mid-1900s saw the start of the practice of using feminine names for storms.