With the Bay of Bengal giving birth to a new cyclone named Jawad, it reminds one of the sayings of well known German philosopher Hannah Arendt, "Action without a name, a who attached to it, is meaningless."
As the newbie cyclone has been named 'Jawad' by the Regional Specialised Meteorological Centre, New Delhi, does the name have any link with its actions?
What is Jawad?
The word 'Jawad' is Arabic in nature. Though in Arabic, the word denotes noble, generous, bountiful et al. One would be wondering, how come a cyclone can be noble or generous to any living body - from Plantae to Animalia. The cyclone fury is like a curse for the organisms having a life - animals run helter-skelter and big trees fall like nine pins. Heavy rain and gale wind will simply prove a hellish world for human beings - as it destroys their house, farm asset etc.
In such a scary backdrop of the newly born cyclone, how has the RSMC, New Delhi has extended the Arabic nomenclature 'Jawad' (pronounced as Jowad) for the newborn cyclone in the Bay of Bengal?
"In Arabic language, Jawad is used to denote 'bountiful rain' which in common parlance is known as very heavy rain. Since the new cyclone will be bringing very to extremely heavy rainfall in the place of landfall, the name assigned to it is Cyclone Jawad. Moreover, it is not a fierce cyclone," explained a senior scientist at IMD Bhubaneswar.
The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) maintains a dossier of names for each tropical cyclone basin. However, if a very furious cyclone has been detected, then the name available in the 'dossier' can be retired to name it appropriately to portray the ferocity of the system.
Even as the world has four ocean basins namely the Arctic, the Atlantic, the Indian, and the Pacific, WMO has categorised eight Tropical Cyclone Basins. They are South Pacific, Northwest Pacific, South Indian, North Indian, Fiji, Australia- western region, northern and eastern, Pacific - Central and Eastern and Atlantic.
Among the eight tropical cyclone basins, cyclones are very rare in the western region of Australia. While the Pacific ocean is notorious for giving birth to the majority of the cyclone population every year, the Indian Ocean (south and north) comes 2nd and the Atlantic ranks third.
The Angry North Indian Ocean
As the name suggests, the Indian subcontinent lies in the North Indian ocean, whereas the coast of Africa borders the South Indian ocean. North Indian Ocean consists of the Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal. And the Bay is known as the cyclone hotbed of the region.
The Regional Specialised Meteorological Centre, New Delhi has been authorised as the nodal cyclone forecasting agency for the North Indian Ocean basin region.
The WMO rule says a name list is proposed by the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) of WMO Members of a specific region, and approved by the respective tropical cyclone regional bodies at their annual/biannual sessions.
From the year 2000, nations in the Northern Indian ocean have started a new system for naming tropical cyclone. As per the system, names are listed alphabetically country wise and are neutral gender-wise.
Earlier in 2004, there were 8 countries and each was giving 8 names creating a repository of 64 names. Since, 2018, the number has gone up to touch 13. And the new in the group was - Iran, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.
The alphabetic series this time stopped at Saudi Arabia, and the name 'Jawad' suggested by the Islamic holy land during the annual/biannual meetings to RSMC, New Delhi, seems appropriate to the attributes of the new cyclone heading towards the pilgrim town of Puri in Odisha.
In the North Indian Ocean Region, there are 13 countries, while the first country is Bangladesh, Yemen is the last one (as per English alphabetical order).
Now, imagine how many cyclones this North Indian Ocean region has brewed up since 2019. In May 2019, Odisha was hit by a deadly cyclone named Fani (Pronounced as Foni). December 5, 2021, another cyclone named Jawad is about to hit Odisha's Puri.
During the period of the last 31 months, including December 2021, the North Indian Ocean has witnessed nearly 21 cyclones of varying intensity. But the State of Odisha was hit by 2 cyclones - Fani (2019) and Yaas (2020). Two other cyclones - Bulbul (2019) and Amphan (2020) tracked to West Bengal.
- Fani (2019) - By Bangladesh
- Bulbul (2019) - By Pakistan
- Amphan (2020) - By Thailand
- Jawad (2021) - By Saudi Arabia.