Hilda, Irv­ing, Joyce: Cy­clone class of ‘18

Daily Mercury - - NEWS - Cas Gar­vey cas.gar­vey@dai­ly­mer­cury.com.au

CY­CLONE Hilda will be the name given to the first cy­clone that forms in Aus­tralian waters this sea­son; and the bu­reau has re­leased the names of the ones who’ll fol­low her.

The next 14 up­com­ing cy­clone names, which will be in the or­der they form are Hilda, Irv­ing, Joyce, Kelvin, Linda, Mar­cus, Nora, Owen, Penny, Ri­ley, Sa­van­nah, Trevor, Veron­ica and Wal­lace.

So how are trop­i­cal cy­clones named?

Bu­reau of Me­te­o­rol­ogy se­nior me­te­o­rol­o­gist An­drea Pace ex­plained why and how.

“We name trop­i­cal cy­clones so we can eas­ily com­mu­ni­cate in­for­ma­tion about them with the com­mu­nity, and also so to re­duce con­fu­sion if mul­ti­ple cy­clones oc­cur at once,” Ms Pace said.

The nam­ing of cy­clones be­gan back in 1887 with Clement Wragge, who named cy­clones af­ter let­ters in the Greek al­pha­bet, mytho­log­i­cal crea­tures and po­lit­i­cal fig­ures of the time.

“Af­ter Wragge moved on from me­te­o­rol­ogy around 1902, the nam­ing of storms and cy­clones re­ally fell away with only a hand­ful of coun­tries nam­ing se­vere weather events,” Ms Pace said.

“It was about 60 years later that the Aus­tralian Bu­reau of Me­te­o­rol­ogy for­malised the prac­tice and Trop­i­cal Cy­clone Bessie, which formed off West­ern Aus­tralia on Jan­uary 6, 1964 was the first cy­clone to be of­fi­cially named by the bu­reau.”

Other coun­tries then fol­lowed suit, giv­ing fe­male names to cy­clones un­til In­ter­na­tional Women’s Year in 1975, the then-Aus­tralian Science Min­is­ter or­dered they be given both male and fe­male names.

Nowa­days, the Bu­reau names cy­clones based on a pre-de­ter­mined alphabetical list, al­ter­nat­ing be­tween male and fe­male names.

The Bu­reau cur­rently has enough names on the list to last the next 10 cy­clone sea­sons.

“Names can be reused, but when a cy­clone causes sig­nif­i­cant loss or dam­age, like Tracy in 1974 or Larry in 2006, we per­ma­nently re­tire the name,” Ms Pace ex­plained.

Last sea­son, cy­clones that formed in­cluded TC Yvette, TC Al­fred, TC Blanche, TC Caleb, TC Deb­bie, TC Ernie, TC Frances and TC Greg.

While the big­gest sys­tem of all that formed was Cy­clone Deb­bie, that dec­i­mated parts of the Mackay and Whit­sun­day re­gions, most of the sys­tems above were down­graded be­fore cross­ing the coast.

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