Cold Snap Brings Record Low Spring Temperatures

      April 29, 2010 09:22

      Spring is here but the weather is cold enough to believe that winter has come back. According to the Korea Meteorological Administration on Wednesday, the day's high in Seoul was 7.8 degrees Celsius, the coldest for late April in 103 years. Some mountainous regions even saw snow.

      On Thursday, as Seoul is expected to see the mercury dip to 4 degrees with strong winds, people are likely to feel as if temperatures were below zero.

      "On Wednesday, due to the cloudy weather the temperature did not rise high enough and central regions saw rainfall of 5-20 mm with high winds, which caused people to feel as if it was 1-2 degrees Celsius," a KMA official said. The previous record daily low in Seoul in late April was 10.1 degrees recorded on April 27, 1962.

      Many other areas nationwide saw temperatures at midday fall to the lowest since weather records began here. Incheon recorded 8.1 degrees Celsius, the lowest in 106 years.

      Students struggle against strong wind and rain at Ewha Womans University in Seoul on Wednesday.

      The abnormally cold weather is due to a cold air mass that advanced southward from Monday, the KMA said. It is still circulating over the nation and high pressure developed to the east is slowing down the process of an air stream eastward. "Cold air masses generally weaken from March due to the heat from the mainland, but because of an unusual cold snap, inner Siberia remains frozen and covered with snow," the KMA explained.

      Korea's average daily highs from March to April 20 dropped 1.6 degrees compared to an average year. The amount of sunshine also declined as the cold air mass circulating over the northern part formed a storm center in the low layer of the atmosphere, resulting in frequent rains.

      The weather is expected to get warmer starting Thursday afternoon, recovering to normal over the coming weekend.

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