MANILA, Philippines – The country got its first tropical cyclone of 2020 in May, as Tropical Depression Ambo formed off Mindanao.
The Philippines gets an average of 20 tropical cyclones per year.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) gives local names to tropical cyclones when they enter or form inside the Philippine Area of Responsibility.
These are different from the international names assigned by the Regional Specialized Meteorological Center Tokyo-Typhoon Center. (READ: FAST FACTS: Tropical cyclones, rainfall advisories)
In PAGASA’s case, it has 4 sets of tropical cyclone names that are used every 4 years. These names were previously listed, but the list is updated when certain names are decommissioned or no longer used.
Below are the names for 2020, which will also be used in 2024, 2028, and 2032.
If the 25 names on PAGASA’s original list for the year are used up, names of the next tropical cyclones will be taken from an auxiliary list, which is also already prepared.
Why are certain names decommissioned? PAGASA removes a tropical cyclone name from the list when it is particularly deadly or destructive.
If a tropical cyclone causes at least 300 deaths and/or P1 billion worth of damage to agriculture and infrastructure, it is replaced by another name starting with the same letter.
For instance, two names from 2019 are the latest to be decommissioned: Tisoy and Ursula. The new name for T under that set is Tamaraw, and for U, Ugong.
Typhoon Tisoy (Kammuri) hit parts of Luzon in early December 2019, causing 4 deaths and P6.6 billion worth of damage to agriculture and infrastructure.
Typhoon Ursula (Phanfone), which barreled through the Visayas and parts of Luzon during the Christmas season, left 57 people dead and P4.3 billion worth of damage to agriculture and infrastructure. – Rappler.com