Cyclone Tauktae: Meaning and origin

A cyclone is a large mass of air that rotates around a Low-pressure center, usually originating over oceans. They rotate clockwise in the southern hemisphere, south of the equator, and counterclockwise in the northern hemisphere if viewed from above. Let’s find out who names the cyclones in India and what is the meaning of cyclone Tauktae.

Since the 1998 Gujarat Cyclone, Cyclone Tauktae is the most severe tropical cyclone to make landfall on the coast of Gujarat. Originating from the Arabian Sea, Tauktae is considered to be one of the most severe cyclones to ever hit the Indian west coast. Tauktae originated from a tropical disturbance, which was first monitored by the India Meteorological Department (IMD Delhi) on the 13th May. The disturbance drifted eastward and organized into a deep depression by May 14. The storm soon took a northward turn, continuing to gradually intensify, and the system strengthened into a cyclonic storm and was named Tauktae later that same day. Tauktae made landfall on May 17 on the coasts of Kerala, Karnataka, and Maharashtra.

Cyclone Taukate
Cyclone Taukate

Naming a Cyclone in North Indian Ocean (45°E – 100°E)

Within the North Indian Ocean region (45°E – 100°E), tropical cyclones are named by the India Meteorological Department (IMD, New Delhi). This happens when they qualify for having intensified into the cyclonic storms with 3-minute sustained wind speeds of at least 34 knots or 39 mph or 63 km/h. If a cyclonic storm moves into the basin from the Western Pacific, then it will keep its original name and IMD doesn’t name it. However, if the cyclone weakens into a deep depression and later reintensifies after moving into the Indian Ocean region then it is assigned a new name by the IMD. 

After Cyclone Amphan made its headway into the region in May 2020, it exhausted the list of names that were originally kept from 2004.  In May 2020, A new list of names was prepared and will be used in alphabetical order for storms after Amphan. Cyclones names like Nisarga, Gati, Nivar, Burevi, Yaas were taken from this list.

Cyclone Taukate was named by Myanmar (pronounced as Tau’Te). Tauktae means a highly vocal lizard in Myanmari language, also known as Geckos.