Record Snowfall Buries Eastern Gangwon

Pedestrians walk on a road smothered in snow in Gangneung, Gangwon Province on Monday. Pedestrians walk on a road smothered in snow in Gangneung, Gangwon Province on Monday.

Heavy snow blanketed the East Sea coast including eastern Gangwon Province here.

As of last Thursday, the Misiryeong Pass in the province had seen 85 cm of snowfall, but a lot more snow came down over the weekend to exceed the measurable limit of 2 m, the Korea Meteorological Administration said on Monday.

Between last Thursday and Monday, Jinburyeong had 122 cm of snowfall and Gangneung 101 cm, the highest in 24 years. Goseong recorded 89.5 cm, Donghae 81.5 cm and Sokcho 74 cm.

Fourteen villages in Gangneung and Goseong became cut off while 166 schools in Gangneung, Yangyang, Sokcho, Goseong and Samcheok canceled classes on Monday.

Japan was also hit by heavy snow. As snowfall in Tokyo surpassed 27 cm for the first time in 45 years, flights were cancelled at Haneda and Narita airports.

The heavy snow is attributed to a blocking anticyclone near Kamchatka and the Bering Sea which prevented the eastward progress of air in the northern hemisphere. As a result, a continental anticyclone in China and East Siberia as well as a cyclone east of Japan have not been able to move.

In eastern Gangwon Province, there was also a topographical factor at play as snow clouds developed while passing over the Taebaek Mountain Range.

The weather agency forecast that snow will stop on Tuesday afternoon before resuming in the afternoon of the following day. The area will have snow again on Friday and Saturday.

englishnews@chosun.com / Feb. 11, 2014 13:35 KST