"Hi, Mindy! I have read the news that the rainy season has already begun. I remember the times when during typhoons, my siblings and I were glued in front of the TV to wait for updates on whether we would have classes or not. I have always been curious as to how typhoons in the Philippines are named. Where do these names come from? Thanks! - Lee"
Hi, Lee! About 20 typhoons hit the country every year. Since 1963, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) has been giving local names to storms that enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR). They initially adopted four sets of female Filipino nicknames ending in "ng" from A to Y. In 1998, however, PAGASA opened a contest to the public to send their proposed local names for typhoons. The committee chose 140 names from the nominations. These now make up PAGASA’s list of names for tropical cyclones. The list was divided into four sets of 25 names, listed from A-Z with additional 10 auxiliary names from A-J. The list of names is a mix of male and female names as well as gender-neutral names like Kabayan, Quinta, and Zigzag. The set of typhoon names undergo rotation every four years. In order to determine the number of typhoons that have entered PAR every year, PAGASA assigns each typhoon name in alphabetical order. Once all the 25 names are used, PAGASA will use the auxiliary set of names. Names are retired when the typhoon that carried it caused severe or costly damage and loss of life. These are replaced with another name for the next rotation for the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) and for PAGASA with a name sharing the same first letter as the retired name.-Mindy