UN Says No Plans To Start Naming Heatwaves
The United Nations said Tuesday it has no plans to start naming heatwaves in the same way as Atlantic hurricanes, as Europe faces scorching temperatures this week.
Throughout the annual Atlantic hurricane season, storms are named to make them easier to identify in warning messages and help ensure clear communication.
But the UN’s World Meteorological Organization said a similar system for heatwaves was not in the pipeline.
“Tropical cyclones are big systems, they affect multiple countries; heatwaves are more localised,” WMO spokeswoman Clare Nullis told reporters.
“There are moves by some cities to name heatwaves, but at the moment there’s definitely not a coordinated move to name heatwaves.
“We don’t have a naming system and it’s not envisaged in the near future either.”
The southern Spanish city of Seville, which saw temperatures hit 40 degrees Celsius last month, will be the first in the world to name and classify heatwaves.
The pilot scheme announced in June aims to raise public awareness and trigger emergency measures quickly in the event of a heatwave alert.
The first five will be called Zoe, Yago, Xenia, Wenceslao and Vega.
Hurricane names are overseen by the WMO. They are reused every six years, though if the hurricanes are particularly devastating, the name is retired and replaced.
Naming systems are also used in the Pacific and Indian Oceans.