Will Korea Escape Typhoons This Year?

      October 01, 2013 11:56

      This could be Korea's first typhoon-free year in four years unless the country is hit in October.

      Since observations began in 1904, only four full years passed without impacts from typhoons -- in 1920, 1947, 1988 and 2009.

      Although typhoons caused high waves far out at sea in June and August, there has been no direct impact on the mainland, the Korea Meteorological Administration said Monday. And as a cold continental anticyclone expands in October, the likelihood is decreasing that typhoons will affect the peninsula.

      When the continental anticyclone gets stronger, the cold air mass near Lake Baikal in Siberia usually begins to affect the Korean Peninsula, blocking the approach of typhoons. In general, typhoons arrive in Korea riding on the edge of a North Pacific anticyclone that contracts between mid-August and early September, but this year the North Pacific anticyclone hovering over the peninsula was so strong that there was no room for typhoons, the KMA said.

      Still, it is too early to be sure. High water temperatures increase the likelihood of typhoons, and as temperatures remain at around 29 degrees Celsius in waters near the Philippines, a typhoon could still develop.

      Typhoon Sepat formed 1,230 km southeast of Tokyo on Monday but is unlikely to affect Korea.

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