After weird spring and summer, autumn’s too cold

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After weird spring and summer, autumn’s too cold

The first frost of the season descended on Mount Seorak in the country’s east yesterday, 11 days earlier than last year, amid a series of abnormal weather conditions this month, according to local forecasts.

Temperatures in Gangwon, where Mount Seorak stands, fell to as low as 3.1 degrees Celsius (38 degrees Fahrenheit) in some areas and hovered below 10 degrees in other regions early Friday morning, the Gangwon Regional Meteorological Administration said. The temperature, in fact, fell 2 to 4 degrees from Thursday.

The temperature drop comes after heavy rains pounded the capital area earlier this week, leaving two people dead and forcing nearly 12,000 people out of their homes.

Seoul was pummeled with 259.5 millimeters (10.2 inches) of rain Tuesday and as much as 289 millimeters in some parts, the heaviest downpour in the city for the end of September since record keeping began in 1908, according to the Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA). It was the second highest September record for the capital since it was hit with 268.2 millimeters of rain on Sept. 1, 1984.

Tuesday’s downpour was also the second heaviest rainfall per hour - 75 millimeters at its peak, compared with 116 millimeters on Sept. 13, 1964.

“We couldn’t imagine so much rain at the end of September,” said a KMA official. “The heavy downpour will have to be seen as another case of exceptional weather.”

The weather has been abnormal throughout the year, from the cool spring to the scorching hot, rainy summer across the country.

The average temperature in April was around 9.9 degrees - the lowest ever for the month, according to records available from 1973. Summer temperatures, meanwhile, rose above the yearly average by 1.3 degrees to reach 24.8 degrees, while August rains were the most frequent in Seoul since 1908, with 24 days of rainfall.

A heat wave continued through mid-September, with the average temperature nationwide reaching 28.4 degrees from Sept. 1-22, or 2 degrees above the average. Seoul’s daytime temperature topped 30 degrees during nine of those 22 days.

“Last year, daytime temperatures in Seoul never rose above 30 degrees throughout the month of September,” a KMA official said. “This year, high pressure from the North Pacific persisted over a long period and caused the temperature to rise across the country.

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