New Delhi: A cyclonic storm ‘Yaas’ is likely to brew over the Bay of Bengal in less than 24 hours. It is predicted to intensify into a very severe cyclonic storm and cross the Odisha and the West Bengal coasts on May 26, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD). 

The IMD has predicted Cyclone Yaas will likely be as severe as Cyclone Amphan, which had hit Odisha and West Bengal in May 2020. 

What does ‘Yaas’ mean? 

The term Yaas has been suggested by Oman, which refers to ‘a tree that has a good fragrance’. ‘Yaas’ is said to have originated from the Persian language and it means Jasmin in English.

How are cyclones named?

The naming of cyclones is done by the World Meteorological Organisation/United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (WMO/ESCAP) Panel on Tropical Cyclones (PTC). 

A panel of 13 countries name the cyclones in the region. These countries include India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Pakistan, the Maldives, Oman, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Iran, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen. The cyclone names are given by counties on a rotation basis in the region.

 If a cyclone is particularly deadly or costly, then its name changes and replaced by another.

Generally, the name list for the cylone is extended by the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHS) of the WMO members of a specific region. Then, the respective tropical cyclone regional bodies decide on the name during their annual or biennial sessions.

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