Seoul and Gyeonggi can expect cold, Gangwon more snow
Freezing temperatures were to descend on Seoul and Gyeonggi Monday and Tuesday, as Gangwon braced for heavy snowfall.
The temperature in Seoul, Gyeonggi and Gangwon will drop below negative 10 degrees Celsius (14 degrees Fahrenheit) on Monday and Tuesday mornings, said the Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA) Sunday.
Cold wave advisories were issued in Gyeonggi, Gangwon and Seoul on Sunday.
Those advisories are issued when the lowest morning temperature is expected to drop by more than 10 degrees Celsius from the previous day and fall below 3 degrees Celsius; or when the lowest temperature for the next two mornings is expected to be negative 12 degrees Celsius or lower.
Already deep in snow from over the weekend, parts of Gangwon were told to brace for more through Monday.
“Parts of the Yeongdong region of Gangwon will see some 2 to 3 centimeters [0.8 to 1.2 inches] of snow per hour through Monday,” said the KMA on Sunday afternoon.
The Yeongdong region of Gangwon includes the coastal areas of Goseong and Yangyang counties and the cities of Sokcho, Gangneung, Donghae, Samcheok and Taebaek.
A heavy snow warning was issued in Sokcho, Goseong and Yangyang at 6 p.m. Sunday. That warning is issued in areas expecting more than 20 centimeters of snow in the next 24 hours.
It snowed a total of 55.9 centimeters in the mountainous Misiryeong area of Gangwon, 16.9 centimeters on Mt. Seorak and 14.7 centimeters in Yangyang as of 2 p.m. Sunday, according to the KMA.
A total of 103 reports of traffic accidents were received by the police in Gangwon as of Sunday afternoon.
Some 40 people were trapped in heavy snow on a road in Goseong County, Gangwon, for about 1.5 hours around noon on Sunday. They were eventually rescued by snow trucks.
Homes and farms with plastic vinyl greenhouses were warned about wet snow, which can be two to three times heavier than dry snow. Wet snow can lead to roofs caving in.
The weight of some 70 centimeters of wet snow falling on a 10 by 20 meter surface could be heavier than a 15-ton truck, according to the KMA.
“When possible, clear the roofs of the snow as often as needed,” said Park Jeong-min, a climatologist at the KMA.
The Yeongdong region of Gangwon was expected to be more affected by the wet snow because of temperatures in the East Sea.
“The surface-level temperature of the East Sea is about 12 degrees Celsius [53.6 degrees Fahrenheit], about 2 degrees Celsius higher than the temperature of the Yellow Sea,” Park said.
The temperature difference means that as a cold front moves from west to east, the warmer temperature leads to vaporization and formation of wet snow clouds. These clouds would largely be blocked by the high mountainous range of the Taebaek in the east, resulting in precipitation of wet snow in the Yeongdong region, according to the KMA.
Parts of Gyeonggi and Seoul saw less than 1 centimeter of snow per hour on Sunday morning, which turned to rain by the afternoon.
BY ESTHER CHUNG,CHON KWON-PIL [email@example.com]