Cyclone Name: Check How are Cyclones Named?

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Feb 2, 2022, 8:16

Cyclone is a name given by meteorologists to any severe tropical, subtropical, or polar low-pressure system that has organized sufficiently to be designated as such on a weather map.

The word "cyclone" originates in the Greek word cyclōs (κύκλων), meaning "coils of a snake." The Greek scientist Aristotle used the term in his book Meteorologica when he referred to the circular motion of air in an atmospheric vortex.

What is a Cyclone?

A storm with winds higher than 40 knots (74 km/h) over the open ocean is classified as a hurricane, typhoon, or tropical storm. A significant low-pressure area that is not classified as a tropical cyclone can also be termed a "cyclone." However, this is unusual, and it would be more commonly classified as extratropical. For example, a significant extratropical low over the northern Atlantic Ocean was Cyclone Daria.

Cyclones have also occurred on other planets, including Mars and Neptune. On Mars, there is evidence that a class of storms called dust devils is similar in structure and dynamics to terrestrial hurricanes (the latter are thought to have formed from dust devils).

Characteristic Attributes of Cyclones

They are characterized by inward spiralling winds that rotate anti-clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere. 

Cyclones can range from as few as 2 km/h (1 mph) to well over 700 km/h (430 mph), are typically 100–250 km (65–160 mi) across, and are always located several tens to hundreds of kilometres away from any landmass.

The most substantial atmospheric pressure recorded on Earth was 1040 hPa (69.9 inHg) measured inside Typhoon Tip in 1979; however, wind speeds haven't been recorded because the instrument used to make these measurements wasn't designed for winds of this speed and strength.

How are Cyclones Named?

Before the formal start of naming, tropical cyclones were named after places or things they hit during or before reaching cyclonic strength. Names can be retired at any time if a storm is particularly deadly or costly.

Names of cyclones in the world are decided to aid in communication between forecasters and the general public regarding forecasts, watches, and warnings. The names are usually chosen from lists maintained by the nations affected. This ensures that every tropical cyclone has a unique name, and people can remember them more easily.

Cyclone names are given alphabetically to tropical cyclones by metrologists (specialists in weather conditions), hurricane specialists and tropical cyclone researchers, as well as the World Meteorological Organization's Regional Specialized Meteorological Centers (RSMCs) or Tropical Cyclone Warning Centers (TCWCs).

Cyclone Names in India

Name of the cyclones





13th Jun 2019


West Bengal

05th Nov 2019



01st Jun 2020



26th Apr 2019


Odisha and West Bengal

20th May 2020


Andhra Pradesh and Odisha

25th Sept 2021


Andhra Pradesh and Odisha

04th Dec 2021


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FAQs about Cyclone Name

  • What is the next cyclone name in India?

Currently, there are no active cyclones in the region or vicinity.

  • How are cyclones named in India?

As per the guidelines by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the regional specialized meteorological centres (RSMCs) and the Tropical Cyclone Warning Centres (TCWCs) are responsible for naming the cyclones in India.

  • When did a cyclone last hit India?

Cyclone Jawad hit India on 4th Dec 2021.