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Tuesday, 21 May 2013

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Met Dept to amend cyclone names

The Meteorology Department has decided to amend the names proposed by Sri Lanka for cyclonic storms.

Director General S H Kariyawasam said this decision was taken considering the resentments lately caused by naming the recent cyclone in the Bay of Bengal as Mahasen.

He said the names were proposed before 2004. He said the names would be amended to prevent such opposition in the future.

The names were selected by members of the ESCAP/WMO panel on Tropical Cyclones between 2000 and May 2004, before the Regional Specialized Meteorological Centre in New Delhi started to assign names in September 2004.

The proposed names from Sri Lanka in line after Mahasen include Priya, Asiri, Gigum and Soba. The next tropical cyclone within this region is to be named Phailin, a name suggested by Thailand.

The practice of naming storms (tropical cyclones) began years ago 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.

Past experiences have shown that the use of short, distinctive names given names in written as well as spoken communications is quicker and less subject to error than the older more cumbersome latitude-longitude identification methods.

These advantages are important in exchanging detailed storm information between hundreds of widely scattered stations, coastal bases and ships at sea, Kariyawasam said.

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