I. Understand Typhoon

5. How is a typhoon named?

According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) resolution made by the 31st session of Typhoon Committee meeting held in Manila, Philippines in December 1998, a new typhoon naming system has been put into service for international aviation and navigation since January 1st, 2000. The new naming system maintains the numbering method (for example, the first typhoon occurring in 2004 is numbered 0401, following existing method) while replaces the original set of unified identifications of typhoons occurring in the Western North Pacific and South China Sea region by a new set of 140 names divided into five groups with each containing 28 names. Each of 14 Typhoon Committee members from nations and district of the Western North Pacific and South China Sea region provides 10 names. The WMO Regional Specialized Meteorological Center (RSMC) based in Tokyo, Japan, is responsible for naming the typhoons according to the arranged set of names. Each nation (and district) has their sole discretion in deciding whether to use the name for internal typhoon reporting.

To cope with the WMO Typhoon Committee's new naming system for typhoons occurring in the Western North Pacific and South China Sea region, the Central Weather Bureau started on January 1st, 2000 to refer to typhoons in reporting by typhoon numbers as the major identification and by the WMO Typhoon Committee's international names as auxiliary identification.

The new set of 140 typhoon names is extremely complicated and irregular as they are from different nations and districts, including not only names of persons, but also nouns of categories such as animals, plants, astrology, places, mythological figures, jewelry, etc. These names are not alphabetically ordered. For the sake of prudence, the Central Weather Bureau conducted a general opinion survey with an outcome of over 74% of people seeing it more appropriate to use typhoon numbers as major identification for reporting purposes and international names designed by WMO Typhoon Committee as auxiliary identification. The latest version of the international naming for typhoons is as shown in Table 2-1 and Table 2-2 contains the original meaning for each typhoon name.

Table 2-1 International naming for typhoons occurring in the Western North Pacific and South China Sea (updated May, 2017)

Source Group 1 Group 2 Group 3 Group 4 Group 5
 Cambodia Damrey Kong-rey Nakri Krovanh Sarika
China Haikui Yutu Fengshen Dujuan Haima
North Korea Kirogi Toraji Kalmaegi Surigae Meari
Hong Kong Kai-tak Man-yi Fung-wong Choi-wan Ma-on
Japan Tembin Usagi Kammuri Koguma Tokage
Laos Bolaven Pabuk Phanfone Champi Nock-ten
Macao Sanba Wutip Vongfong In-Fa Muifa
Malaysia Jelawat Sepat Nuri Cempaka Merbok
Micronesia Ewiniar Mun Sinlaku Nepartak Nanmadol
Philippines Maliksi Danas Hagupit Lupit Talas
South Korea Gaemi Nari Jangmi Mirinae Noru
Thailand Prapiroon Wipha Mekkhala Nida Kulap
United States Maria Francisco Higos Omais Roke
Vietnam Son Tinh Lekima Bavi Conson Sonca
Cambodia Ampil Krosa Maysak Chanthu Nesat
China Wukong Bailu Haishen Dianmu Haitang
North Korea Jongdari Podul Noul Mindulle Nalgae
Hong Kong Shanshan Lingling Dolphin Lionrock Banyan
Japan Yagi Kajiki Kujira Kompasu Hato
Laos Leepi Faxai Chan-hom Namtheun Pakhar
Macao Bebinca Peipah Linfa Malou Sanvu
Malaysia Rumbia Tapah Nangka Meranti Mawar
Micronesia Soulik Mitag Saudel Rai Guchol
Philippines Cimaron Hagibis Molave Malakas Talim
South Korea Jebi Neoguri Goni Megi Doksuri
Thailand Mangkhut Bualoi Atsani Chaba Khanun
United States Barijat Matmo Etau Aere Lan
Vietnam Trami Halong Vamco Songda Saola

Table 2-2 Meanings of typhoon names in the Western North Pacific and South China Sea

Source Group1 Group2 Group3 Group4 Group5
Cambodia Damrey
Elephant
Kong-rey
Woman's name
Nakri
Flower
Krovanh
Tree
Sarika
Bird
China Haikui
Sea Anemone
Yutu
Rabbit(Jade rabbit)
Fengshen
Wind god
Dujuan
Flower (Azalea)
Haima
Hippocampi
North Korea Kirogi
A bird of passage
Toraji
Flower
Kalmaegi
Seagull
Surigae
A kind of eagles
Meari
Echo
Hong Kong Kai-tak
Airport
Man-yi
Reservoir
Fung-wong
Mountain
Choi-wan
Building
Ma-on
Mountain
Japan Tembin
Libra
Usagi
Lepus
Kammuri
Corona borealis
Koguma
Ursa Minor
Tokage
Lacerta
Laos Bolaven
Plateau
Pabuk
Fresh-water fish
Phanfone
Animal
Champi
Red jasmine flower
Nock-ten
Bird
Macao Sanba
Location Name
Wutip
Butterfly
Vongfong
Hornet
In-Fa
Fireworks
Muifa
Flower
Malaysia Jelawat
Carp
Sepat
Fresh-water fish
Nuri
Parrot
Cempaka
Plant that known for its fragrant flowers
Merbok
Dove
Micronesia Ewiniar
Storm god
Mun
June
Sinlaku
Goddess
Nepartak
Warrior
Nanmadol
Famous ruins
Philippines Maliksi
Speed
Danas
Experience
Hagupit
Castigation
Lupit
Brutality
Talas
Sharpness
South Korea Gaemi
Ant
Nari
Lily
Jangmi
Rose
Mirinae
Milk way
Noru
Deer
Thailand Prapiroon
Rain god
Wipha
Woman's name
Mekkhala
Thunder god
Nida
Woman's name
Kulap
Rose
United States Maria
Woman's name
Francisco
Man's name
Higos
Figs
Omais
Roaming
Roke
Man's name
Vietnam Son Tinh
God of Mountain
Lekima
Tree
Bavi
Mountain range
Conson
Scenic spot
Sonca
Bird
Cambodia Ampil
Fruit
Krosa
Crane
Maysak
Tree
Chanthu
Flower
Nesat
Fisherman
China Wukong
Handsome monkey king
Bailu
White deer
Haishen
Ocean god
Dianmu
Goddess
Haitang
Flowering crab-apple
North Korea Jongdari
Skylark
Podul
Willow
Noul
Rosy clouds
Mindulle
Dandelion
Nalgae
Wings
Hong Kong Shanshan
Woman's name
Lingling
Woman's name
Dolphin
White dolphin
Lionrock
Lion mountain
Banyan
Banyan tree
Japan Yagi
Capricornus
Kajiki
Dorado
Kujira
Cetus
Kompasu
Circinus
Hato
Columba; pigeon
Laos Leepi
Waterfall Name
Faxai
Woman's name
Chan-hom
Tree
Namtheun
River
Pakhar
Fish Name
Macao Bebinca
Milk pudding
Peipah
Pet fish
Linfa
Flower
Malou
Agate
Sanvu
Coral
Malaysia Rumbia
Palm tree
Tapah
Catfish
Nangka
Jack-fruit
Meranti
Tree
Mawar
Rose
Micronesia Soulik
Chief's title
Mitag
Woman's name
Saudel
Chief Soudelor’s trusted guard/soldier
Rai
Stone money of Yap
Guchol
Spice
Philippines Cimaron
Buffalo
Hagibis
Rapid
Molave
Hardwood
Malakas
Stark
Talim
Blades
South Korea Jebi
Swallow
Neoguri
Racoon
Goni
Swan
Megi
Catfish
Doksuri
Raptor
Thailand Mangkhut
Mangosteen
Bualoi
A kind of Thai dessert
Atsani
Lightening flash
Chaba
Hibiscus
Khanun
Jack-fruit
United States Barijat
Coastal areas impacted by waves/winds
Matmo
Downpour
Etau Storm
cloud
Aere
Storm
Lan
Storm
Vietnam Trami
Rose
Halong
Scenic spot
Vamco
River
Songda
Red river branch
Saola
Animal