Tracy, Yasi, Trevor... How Do They Name Tropical Cyclones?
Cyclone Trevor. It's the storm that invokes memories of cricket's infamous underarm delivery.
t how did it get its name?
Ah, well that'd be because we're up to the letter "T" in the Bureau of Meteorology's alphabetical list of cyclone names, and old mate Trev off Cape York was the lucky name chosen.
Then along came Veronica, off the coast of WA. You can clearly see the two of them in the image below.
Why Jump from "T" to "V"? What happened to the letter "U"? Your guess is as good as ours. 10 daily asked the Bureau of Meteorology but so far have heard nothing.
We'll keep you posted if we find out more, but our sneaking suspicion is that for some reason our own Bureau doesn't use the letter "U", perhaps because they've used them all up spelling their own name. But more likely it's because the two we found -- Cyclones "Ului" and "Upia" -- both originated in the Pacific Islands well north or east of Australia.
When a cyclone originates beyond our waters but travels towards our coastline, it retains the original name bestowed upon it by the local meteorological organisation. That's why the destructive Cyclone Yasi in 2011 retained its Fijian name.
Interestingly, Australia's Bureau was the first meteorological body in the world to name tropical storms -- or indeed, to name any storms.
Quite sensibly, the Bureau decided to do this so it could easily communicate information about them, and also to distinguish between cyclones if there happened to be two or more hanging around northern Australia at the same time, which is not uncommon.
That's Trevor in the top right hand corner of the image below. And that's the makings of Veronica in the top left hand corner.
The first named cyclone was Cyclone Bessie in 1964, and they were always given female names up until Cyclone Tracy, which devastated Darwin over Christmas in 1974.
Shortly thereafter, male names were introduced, and the names of cyclones now alternate between male and female.
Cyclones never carry the name of a current prominent person in case someone gets confused, and if a storm has been particularly destructive, its name will be permanently retired, just as a famous sportsperson will have their jersey number retired after a spectacular career.
Or course, Australia's BoM only names the cyclones that come within its shores and other countries have their own names for the own cyclones, hence the reason why the current cyclone tragically devastating Mozambique is called Idai.
And as for Trevor?
For everyone's sake in northern Queensland, let's hope it's as harmless as an underarm delivery.