Go to contents

Early heat wave sweeps over Korea

Posted June. 19, 2023 07:58,   

Updated June. 19, 2023 07:58


Korea is facing earlier-than-expected heat waves this year. On Sunday, the first tropical night of the year occurred in the East Sea region, and an emergency heat wave warning was issued across the nation. The extreme heat is projected to continue on Monday, with the highest temperature in Seoul expected to reach as high as 35 degrees.

According to the Korea Meteorological Agency (KMA), early morning temperatures on Saturday and Sunday reached 24.8 degrees in Yangyang of Gangwon province, evidence of tropical nights occurred on both days. The first tropical night of the year they occurred on Sunday, 23 days earlier compared to 2021 (July 11) and one day earlier than last year (June 18). With tropical nights starting in June for two consecutive years, June is no longer regarded as early summer in Korea.

Emergency heat wave warnings were issued over the weekend in Seoul, Seoul Metropolitan Area, Daegu, Gangwon, and Jeolla provinces for the first time this year. The warning is issued when a sensible daily temperature of 33 degrees persists for over two days.

The heat is expected to continue throughout June 19, with highs in Seoul to reach up to 35 degrees and 34 degrees in Daejeon and Gwangju. The KMA explained that the heat was due to high atmospheric pressure above the Korean peninsula. The heat wave is expected to go down on Tuesday.

The KMA predicted that summer temperatures this year should be like previous summers or higher, with a likelihood of 40% respectively. The average temperature for spring this year hit the highest on record since weather forecasting nationwide. There are also growing concerns about a Super El Nino occurring and bringing high temperatures and heavy rain at the same time amid rising temperatures. El Nino is a climate pattern that describes the unusual warming of surface waters in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.

Mee-Jee Lee image@donga.com