Posted January. 05, 2013 00:00,
South Korea`s cold wave that began last month is the second coldest since 1973, when the government began to collect meteorological data nationwide, the Korea Meteorological Administration in Seoul said Friday.
The average temperature in December across the country was minus 1.7 degrees Celsius, 3.2 degrees lower than normal. The coldest year since 1973 was 2005, when the national average temperature was minus 2.2 degrees.
Last month also set a record with the most days, 7.6, of all-day sub-zero temperatures.
More rain and snow were recorded in December. Average rainfall was the second highest in the nation`s history with 60.4 millimeters, or 2.6 times the average of previous years. It rained or snowed an average of 11.2 days last month, the most since 1973.
In North Korea, the average temperature last month also hit a record low at minus 8.6 degrees, 4.1 degrees lower than normal. The average temperature in Samjiyon near Mount Baekdu was minus 18.3 degrees, with the low of minus 24 degrees making the area the coldest place on the Korean Peninsula.
The cold surge is likely to bring sporadic snowfall Saturday morning in Seoul, the central west coast of South Korea, the northern part of Gyeonggi Province and the western inland region of Gangwon Province called Yeongseo.
The morning low will range from minus 19 to minus 3 degrees, including minus 11 degrees in Seoul. The daytime high will range from minus 4 to minus 6 degrees, or a little warmer than Friday. The average morning temperature in Seoul is forecast to rise to minus 7 degrees.
If the cold wave continues, South Korea will likely suffer from more serious power shortages. Another cold snap with a morning low of under minus 15 degrees could cause a massive blackout.
The government will begin to regulate industrial use of power to ensure energy conservation. Through last month, Seoul had "recommended" energy-cutting measures.
From this month, those who use more than 3,000 kilowatts a day will be required to cut consumption up to 10 percent. Businesses that leave their doors open while running heaters inside will be fined from Monday.