Mediterranean Weather Confounds Seasonal Expectations

      July 22, 2011 10:08

      The weather has been unexpectedly hot and dry so shortly after the rainy season, confounding predictions by the Korea Meteorological Administration. The weather, which is more often associated with the Mediterranean or southern California, will likely continue until early next week.

      The day's high was 32.2 degrees Celsius on Thursday, not far above the 30-year average of 29 degrees, but humidity was 36 percent at 3 p.m., far lower than the 80 percent in previous years.

      People cool off in the Cheonggye Stream in Seoul on Wednesday. /Newsis

      The KMA now attributes the unusual weather to relatively dry air from the northeast, rather than hot and humid air from the tropics.

      Another factor was a foehn or dry down-slope wind that occurred in the lee of the Taekbaek mountain range under the indirect influence of typhoon Ma-on. Korea is forecast to get its usual humid summer weather back next Thursday as North Pacific high pressure affects the peninsula after nationwide rains on Tuesday and Wednesday.

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