A low pressure area has formed over South Andaman Sea and adjoining southeast Bay of Bengal towards the morning of 06th May 2022, according to Indian Meteorological Department. The depression is very likely to move northwestwards, intensify into a Depression which could intensify into cyclonic strom, Asani, over southeast Bay of Bengal by 8th May. It is predicted that the strom would lose intensity and weaken as it would move towards the coast of Andhra Odisha. The cyclone is striking India as the heat wave in several other parts of the country continues.

Etymology: Asani

Asani in Sinhala means ‘wrath’. The name Asani was given by Sri Lanka.

Naming of Cyclones: World Meteorological Organization (WMO) maintains rotating lists of names which are appropriate for each Tropical Cyclone basin. If a cyclone is particularly deadly or costly, then its name is retired and replaced by another one. The RSMC New Delhi Tropical Cyclone Center is responsible to name the tropical cyclones that have formed over the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea when they have reached the relevant intensity.

Why naming Cyclones? : Each cyclone must be given name so that there is no confusion in the instances where multiple systems operate in one location. As per the WMD, the practice of naming storms (tropical cyclones) began years ago in order to help in the quick identification of storms in warning messages because names are presumed to be far easier to remember than numbers and technical terms. Many agree that appending names to storms makes it easier for the media to report on tropical cyclones, heightens interest in warnings and increases community preparedness.

Cyclone Gati was the first hurricane-force cyclone to strike in Somalia. Gati was named by India. Cyclone Sagar the first named cyclone of the 2018 North Indian Ocean cyclone season. Sagar tropical cyclone was formed in the Gulf of Aden between Yemen and northern Somalia on 16 May 2018. The cyclone system caused heavy rains along the coast of Puntland on 17 May. Flash flooding was reported in the Bari region, which were not limited to seasonal riverbeds. The road linking Bossaso and points south has reportedly been affected. There are also reports of some fishing boats having been washed away by waves off the coast of Sanaag region, which along with Sool are disputed between Somaliland and Puntland.

India Meteorological Department was established in 1875. Mr. H. F. Blanford was appointed Meteorological Reporter to the Government of India. The first Director General of Observatories was Sir John Eliot who was appointed in May 1889 at Calcutta headquarters. The headquarters of IMD were later shifted to Shimla, then to Poona (now Pune) and finally to New Delhi.

The objectives of IMD are

  • To take meteorological observations and to provide current and forecast meteorological information for optimum operation of weather-sensitive activities like agriculture, irrigation, shipping, aviation, offshore oil explorations, etc.
  • To warn against severe weather phenomena like tropical cyclones, norwesters, duststorms, heavy rains and snow, cold and heat waves, etc., which cause destruction of life and property.
  • To provide meteorological statistics required for agriculture, water resource management, industries, oil exploration and other nation-building activities.
  • To conduct and promote research in meteorology and allied disciplines.

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