Global Geological And Climatic Events

Cyclone Remal to make landfall


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Tropical Cyclone

Mains level: NA

Why in the News?

  • Cyclone Remal is forecasted to make landfall between Sagar Island in West Bengal and Bangladesh’s Khepupara on Sunday midnight.
  • The name ‘Remal’ originates from Oman and means ‘sand’ in Arabic.

What are Cyclones?

  • Cyclones are wind systems rotating inwardly towards an area of low atmospheric pressure. They are categorised into Tropical (Temperature-induced) and Temperate (extra-tropical) cyclones(airmass-induced).
  • Formation Conditions: Tropical cyclones originate in warm regions, requiring conditions such as
  1. Warm sea surface (> 27°C),
  2. Coriolis Force,
  3. Pre-existing low-pressure systems,
  4. Small vertical wind speed differences, and
  5. Upper air divergence.

Characteristics of Tropical Cyclones:

  • They form over warm water bodies due to energy derived from the condensation of warm water within cumulonimbus clouds.
  • Wind rotation is influenced by the Coriolis force, resulting in anti-clockwise rotation in the northern hemisphere and clockwise in the southern hemisphere.

Regional Movement of Cyclones:

  • In the northern hemisphere, cyclones initially move westward under earth rotation and the Easterlies.
  • As they progress towards higher latitudes, the Coriolis force deflects them rightward, towards north and later east.
  • By 30° latitude, the diminished warmth halts cyclone activity.

Naming of Cyclones: 

  • Responsibility of RSMCs and TCWCs: The naming of cyclones that form in every ocean basin across the world is carried out by the Regional Specialised Meteorological Centres (RSMCs) and Tropical Cyclone Warning Centres (TCWCs).
  • Procedure in the North Indian Ocean: For north Indian Ocean including Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea, the RSMC, New Delhi assigns the name to tropical cyclones following a standard procedure.
  • Agreement by WMO/ESCAP Panel: The WMO/ESCAP Panel on Tropical Cyclones in 2000 agreed in principle to assign names to the tropical cyclones in the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea.
  • Selection Process: Each country would sent their suggestions, based on which the Panel would finalise a list.
  • Retirement of Names: Generally, names of some storms that cause widespread damage and deaths are usually retired and are not brought back or reused later, at least for 10 years. These names are then replaced with new names.
  • Unique Policy for North Indian Ocean: Unlike in other regions, the names of tropical cyclones over the north Indian Ocean once used, will cease to be used again.

Destruction Caused by Cyclones:

  • Strong Winds/Squall: Cyclones cause infrastructure damage through high-speed winds.
  • Torrential Rains and Inland Flooding: Heavy rainfall leads to floods, soil erosion, and embankment weakening.
  • Storm Surge: Abnormal sea level rise inundates coastal regions, causing floods, erosion, and destruction.


[2015] In the South Atlantic and South Eastern Pacific regions in tropical latitudes, cyclone does not originate. What is the main reason behind this?

(a) Sea Surface temperature are low

(b) Inter Tropical Convergence Zone seldom occurs

(c) Coriolis force is too weak

(d) Absence of land in those regions

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