Freak Heat Wave to Continue over Weekend

  • By Kim Eun-gyeong, Sun Jung-min

    July 22, 2021 12:15

    Temperatures soared above 35 degrees Celsius in much of the country this week, and the heat wave is expected to continue over the weekend.

    Daytime highs are expected to soar to a seasonal high of 36 degrees in the capital and up to 38 degrees in other parts, accompanied by tropical nights when the mercury does not drop below 25 degrees all night.

    A North Pacific high-pressure front hovers over the Korean Peninsula while a Tibetan high-pressure front is advancing from the west, causing a "heat dome" effect that prevents the heat from dissipating.

    People cool themselves at the Cheonggye Stream in Seoul on Wednesday as a thermometer indicates 39.8 degrees Celsius. /Newsis

    This year's rainy season ended about a week earlier than usual as freak weather swept around the world. According to the Korea Meteorological Administration, the summer monsoon season had lasted only 17 days when it ended on Monday, the third-shortest rainy season on record. In central parts it only rained for about nine days while the 150 mm of precipitation was just 40 percent of the normal average.

    Only southern parts, where the monsoon front hovered during most of the rainy season, saw some 282 mm of rainfall, which was higher than usual.

    Patterns are changing. Last year's rainy season was the longest on record, lasting 54 days, while in 2018, it lasted just 16 days. In 2019, the monsoon season brought rain primarily in the southern regions, while the opposite happened in 2017 when the central part of the country saw more than 400 mm of heavy downpours. In other words, Korea is being jolted out of its established weather patterns by global warming.

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