Key Facts About Cyclone Nilofar
- A deep depression that has formed over the Arabian Sea is expected to turn into a tropical cyclone Nilofar. Nilofar has the potential to strengthen to the equivalent of a Category 1 hurricane before its Arabian Peninsula landfall.
- In India, the North Gujarat coast is expected to bear the brunt of Nilofar. It is expected to land in Gujarat on October 31 with a wind speed of over 120 kmph
- District authorities in the coastal areas of Gujarat have been warned to be prepared for heavy rains and storm. The authorities are also monitoring the situation and the control rooms are operational. The authorities of the Kandla Port Trust, State Maritime Board and the Forest Department, besides local leaders in villages have been put on high alert.
- According to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), the coastal districts of Gujarat will isolated very heavy rainfall from October 30 which will intensify further into a severe cyclone storm within 24 hours
- Alerts will be issued to concerned local authorities on status of the storm every three hours
- Other than India, Nilofar is also expected to hit eastern Yemen or Oman with damaging winds, flooding rain and dangerously rough seas. It is also expected to bring potentially heavy rainfall to parts of Pakistan, especially Karachi.
- It is to be noted that tropical cyclones are unusual in this part of the world. Generally, only one or two tropical cyclones form every year in Arabian Sea.
About Naming of cyclones
In the West, hurricanes and tropical cyclones have been given their own names since 1953. This was done in accordance with a convention by Miami’s National Hurricane Centre and is maintained and updated by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). WMO is an agenct of the UN and based out of Geneva.
However, South Asia and the Middle East did not adhere to this practice of naming storms till much later. In an effort to name the cyclones without offending any of the countries in the region, all the countries came together in 2004 to evolve a mechanism to name the tropical cyclones. According to the agreed upon system, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Maldives, Myanmar, Oman, Sri Lanka and Thailand meet every year and each country submits its list of names. Each country gets a turn to name the storm in alphabetical order. Till now, the countries have decided on 64 names. Hudhud was a suggestion of Oman, while Nilofar was Pakistan’s suggestion.