Extreme Temperature Diary- Friday May 12th, 2023/Main Topic: Humanitarian Crisis Developing as Cyclone Mocha Moves Towards Rohingya Refugee Camps

The main purpose of this ongoing blog will be to track planetary extreme, or record temperatures related to climate change. Any reports I see of ETs will be listed below the main topic of the day. I’ll refer to extreme or record temperatures as ETs (not extraterrestrials).😉

Main Topic: Humanitarian Crisis Developing as Cyclone Mocha Moves Towards Rohingya Refugee Camps

Dear Diary. Back on May 7th I mentioned the possibility that above average sea surface temperatures and a record warm airmass residing over Southeast Asia would fuel a strong cyclone in the Bay of Bengal. Unfortunately, models were correct, with the American GFS model being the most consistent of our meteorological tools for forming and strengthening the system now known as Mocha, moving it towards the Bangladesh/Myanmar border:

Extreme Temperature Diary- Sunday May 7th, 2023/Main Topic: Record Hot Southern Asian Airmass Probably Will Strengthen Developing Cyclone In the Bay of Bengal – Guy On Climate

Now we are worried that the system may do this:

Across Myanmar and China, the Islamic believing Rohingya people are fleeing from a literal genocide taking place in those countries for their people.

The latest GFS model run solution from this Friday is no different than what I’ve see the last few days. A landfall of what would amount to a category 3 and possibly stronger hurricane would take place in about 40 hours from this writing on Sunday (or Saturday night using U.S. time):

Here is the latest Washington Post report on how local officials are scrambling to prevent as many deaths as possible:

Hundreds of thousands to be evacuated as Bangladesh and Myanmar brace for severe cyclone – The Washington Post

Hundreds of thousands to be evacuated as Bangladesh and Myanmar brace for severe cyclone

By Julhas Alam | AP

May 12, 2023

DHAKA, Bangladesh — Authorities in Bangladesh and Myanmar prepared to evacuate hundreds of thousands of people Friday, warning them to stay away from coastal areas as a severe cyclone churned in the Bay of Bengal.

Cyclone Mocha is expected to hit land on Sunday with wind speeds of up to 160 kilometers (100 miles) per hour and gusts up to 175 kph (110 mph) between Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh and Kyaukpyu in Myanmar, India’s Meteorological Department said.

Bangladesh, a delta nation with more than 160 million people, is prone to natural disasters such as floods and cyclones. The evacuation of nearly 500,000 people is expected to start Saturday with 576 cyclone shelters ready to provide refuge to those who are moved from their homes along the coast, said Bangladesh government administrator Muhammad Shaheen Imran.

The International Rescue Committee said in a statement the cyclone posed a threat to Rohingya refugees who fled from neighboring Myanmar and are living in camps in Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh.

“Still reeling from a devastating fire in March that destroyed more than 2,600 shelters and critical infrastructure, over 850,000 refugees risk losing their homes and livelihoods,” the statement said.

The committee said it was scaling up its emergency response by deploying mobile medical teams to offer services to vulnerable groups such as women, girls, the elderly, and people with disabilities. The IRC is a global humanitarian aid, relief and development nongovernmental organization.

“This is the first cyclone system in the north Indian Ocean this year,” said Rajendra Kumar Jenamani, a senior scientist at the Indian Meteorological Department. “The cyclone is severe and will likely affect millions of fishers and coastal communities in Bangladesh and Myanmar.”

In May 2008, Cyclone Nargis hit Myanmar with a storm surge that devastated populated areas around the Irrawaddy River delta. At least 138,000 people died and tens of thousands of homes and other buildings were washed away.

Myanmar authorities warned of possible flash floods and landslides in coastal areas as residents stocked up on essential supplies, said Hla Tun, a director at the Department of Meteorology and Hydrology.

Roxy Mathew Koll, a climate scientist at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology in Pune city, said cyclones in the Bay of Bengal are becoming more intense more quickly, in part because of climate change.

The state-run Global New Light of Myanmar newspaper reported that emergency response exercises were being conducted in various regions. It said thousands of people living along the western coast of Rakhine state where the storm is expected to pass are being evacuated.

In Bangladesh, control rooms in cyclone-prone areas were ready for emergency support. Three ports were put on alert, Imran said.

He said the government has allocated dry food, rice and cash and organized thousands of volunteers for relief work under the Bangladesh Red Crescent Society.

Cyclone Mocha is expected to hit coastal districts including Chattogram, Cox’s Bazar, Noakhali and Bhola in Bangladesh on Sunday.

India’s Meteorological Department said the storm was centered more than 1,000 kilometers (600 miles) southwest of Cox’s Bazar and 930 kilometers (580 miles) southwest of Sittwe in Myanmar on Friday and was moving northward at 9 kph (5 mph).

Fishermen and ships were advised not to venture into the southeastern Bay of Bengal and northern Andaman Sea, it said.

The department said it was expecting heavy to very heavy rainfall in Andaman and Nicobar Islands and parts of India’s remote northeast.

Climate scientists say cyclones can now retain their energy for many days, such as Cyclone Amphan in eastern India in 2020 which continued to travel over land as a strong cyclone and caused extensive devastation. “As long as oceans are warm and winds are favorable, cyclones will retain their intensity for a longer period,” Koll said.

Cyclones are among the most devastating natural disasters in the world, especially if they affect densely populated coastal regions in South Asia.


Associated Press climate writer Sibi Arasu in Bengaluru, India, contributed to this report.

Associated Press climate and environmental coverage receives support from several private foundations. See more about AP’s climate initiative at https://www.ap.org/press-releases/2022/ap-announces-sweeping-climate-journalism-initiative. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

Much More:

Here are some more “ET’s” recorded from around the planet the last couple of days, their consequences, and some extreme temperature outlooks, as well as any extreme precipitation reports:

Here is some more brand-new April 2023 climatology:

Here is more climate and weather news from Friday:

(As usual, this will be a fluid post in which more information gets added during the day as it crosses my radar, crediting all who have put it on-line. Items will be archived on this site for posterity. In most instances click on the pictures of each tweet to see each article. The most noteworthy items will be listed first.)

And from the Weather Department:

More notes on other science and the beauty of Earth and this universe:

If you like these posts and my work please contribute via the PayPal widget, which has recently been added to this site. Thanks in advance for any support. 

Guy Walton… “The Climate Guy”

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