Record Snowfall Blankets Seoul

  • By Kim Hyo-in

    November 26, 2018 12:48

    Some 8.8 cm of snow fell in Seoul on Saturday, the biggest amount on record and a staggering quantity for the season's first snow.

    The amount defied predictions by the Korea Meteorological Administration, which claimed snowfall is hard to predict because it is affected by subtle temperature changes near the ground.

    In a weather outlook for this winter earlier, the KMA said temperatures will be similar to or a little higher than average and the amount of precipitation will be average despite a chance of fluctuations due to a cold continental anticyclone and a migratory anticyclone. But now it looks like Korea will have to brace itself for one of the coldest winters it has seen.

    A man shovels snow in Gwanghwamun, Seoul on Saturday.

    Temperatures have fluctuated more and more rapidly in winter due to climate change. The average temperature nationwide has been 0.4 degrees Celsius in the winter over the past four decades, but it is getting more and more uneven every year, fluctuating 0.3 degrees in 2013 but 2.4 degrees in 2017.

    According to meteorologists, major factors that affect the winter weather in Korea are the Siberian anticyclone, the size of the Arctic sea ice, the surface sea temperature of the tropical Indian Ocean and the Western Pacific, and El Niño. This year, these indicators are all pointing to extremes.

    Meanwhile, the annual average carbon dioxide concentration on Earth hit a record high at 405.5 ppm last year, up 2.2 ppm on-year, the World Meteorological Organization said Friday.

    It said the increase is one of the biggest causes of global warming. If this trend continues, it will be impossible to avoid unpredictable weather patterns that cause serious ecological and economic chaos, it warned.

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