Skip Content

New names adopted for tropical cyclones in 2017

14 June 2017

In 2017, four new names have been added to the list of tropical cyclone names in the western North Pacific and the South China Sea. They are Saudel, Surigae, Koguma and Cempaka, replacing the old names Soudelor, Mujigae, Koppu and Melor respectively. The meanings of these four new names and the contributing countries/regions are set out in the following table:

Name Meaning Contributing country/region
SaudelLegendary Pohnpei Chief Soudelor’s trusted guard/soldierMicronesia
SurigaA kind of eagleDPR Korea
KogumaUrsa MinorJapan
CempakPlant that known for its fragrant flowersMalaysia

The new names were endorsed by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific/World Meteorological Organization Typhoon Committee at its 49th session in Yokohama, Japan in February 2017.

According to the convention, the Typhoon Committee would consider removing the name of a tropical cyclone which has caused serious human casualties and economic losses. In August 2015, at least six people were killed and four were missing in Taiwan during the passage of Severe Typhoon Soudelor. In Fujian, Zhejiang, Jiangxi and Anhui, 21 people were killed, five were missing and about 3.4 million people were affected in the fury of Soudelor. In October 2015, Severe Typhoon Mujigae affected at least 4.6 million people in Guangdong and Guangxi, with direct economic loss amounting to over RMB 12 billion. Under the influence of the circulation of Mujigae, Shunde district in Foshan and Panyu district in Guangzhou were affected by tornadoes, resulting in at least six deaths and over 200 injuries. Super Typhoon Koppu and Severe Typhoon Melor hit the Philippines in October and December 2015 respectively, resulting in at least 27 deaths and evacuation of around 1 million people in total.

The updated list of tropical cyclone names and their corresponding meanings are available at the Hong Kong Observatory website at


Tracks of Soudelor, Mujigae, Koppu and Melor in 2015