Tropical Storm Chan-Hom: How do They Name Storms?

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PNC was curious about how the storms receive their names and whether or not the Guam National Weather Forecast Office is responsible for the names of storms that hit in the Western North Pacific. 

 PNC spoke with Chip Guard, Warning Coordination Meterologist at the Guam National Weather Forecast Office. Chip explained that many of the names were once selected by Guam’s NWFO representatives and, in the past, had no specific protocol on how it was done.  Storms could have been named after pets, co-workers, or any given name that happened to make sense.

 

 

That changed in the 1990’s when the United Nations decided to take part.  Now, you may notice that typhoons are often named in different languages. For example, tropical storm Chan-Hom is also the name of a tree in Laos.  

 All countries in the Western North Pacific region submit a list of names that must first be approved and then added to the list of names that will rotate based on alphabetical order of country names.  For example, Cambodia’s name selection will be assigned to the storm first and as each storm occurs they will be named alphabetically until Vietnam is last.  The United Nations ends up comprising five lists from all the countries in the western north pacific region. More than one storm can carry the same name at some point in time since the entire list repeats in a rotation. That rotation will continue unless a name is retired and a new one is added.  Typically, the only way a name is retired is when it is a storm that caused severe damage or deaths; and even then, it must be approved first and then a new list of names will be submitted for consideration of which name will replace it.

 

So, the next time you raise an eyebrow, perk your curiosity, or wonder where a storm name originates, you can check the assigned list of names that are in rotation on the National Weather Service Central Pacific Hurricane Center website to find out which country had their turn in naming the storm.  

See below for an example of the list of names for Tropical Storms of the Western North Pacific.  See if you can locate where the current tropical storm Chan-Hom is located on the list:

Western North Pacific and the South China Sea Names (as of 2015)

Contributor
I
II
III
IV
V

Cambodia
China
DPR Korea
HK, China
Japan
Lao PDR
Macao, China
Malaysia
Micronesia
Philippines
RO Korea
Thailand
U.S.A.
Vietnam
Cambodia
China
DPR Korea
HK, China
Japan
Lao PDR
Macao, China
Malaysia
Micronesia
Philippines
RO Korea
Thailand
U.S.A.
Vietnam

Damrey
Haikui
Kirogi
Kai-Tak
Tembin
Bolaven
Sanba
Jelawat
Ewiniar
Maliksi
Gaemi
Prapiroon
Maria
Son-Tinh
Ampil
Wukong
Jongdari
Shanshan
Yagi
Leepi
Bebinca
Rumbia
Soulik
Cimaron
Jebi
Mangkhut
Barijat
Trami

Kong-rey
Yutu
Toraji
Man-yi
Usagi
Pabuk
Wutip
Sepat
Mun
Danas
Nari
Wipha
Francisco
Lekima
Krosa
Bailu
Podul
Lingling
Kajiki
Faxai
Peipah
Tapah
Mitag
Hagibis
Neoguri
Rammasun
Matmo
Halong

Nakri
Fengshen
Kalmaegi
Fung-wong
Kanmuri
Phanfone
Vongfong
Nuri
Sinlaku
Hagupit
Jangmi
Mekkhala
Higos
Bavi
Maysak
Haishen
Noul
Dolphin
Kujira
Chan-hom
Linfa
Nangka
Soudelor
Molave
Goni
Atsani
Etau
Vamco

Krovanh
Dujuan
Mujigae
Choi-wan
Koppu
Champi
In-fa
Melor
Nepartak
Lupit
Mirinae
Nida
Omais
Conson
Chanthu
Dianmu
Mindulle
Lionrock
Kompasu
Namtheun
Malou
Meranti
Rai
Malakas
Megi
Chaba
Aere
Songda

Sarika
Haima
Meari
Ma-on
Tokage
Nock-ten
Muifa
Merbok
Nanmadol
Talas
Noru
Kulap
Roke
Sonca
Nesat
Haitang
Nalgae
Banyan
Hato
Pakhar
Sanvu
Mawar
Guchol
Talim
Doksuri
Khanun
Lan
Saola