Snow delays 260 flights from Jeju, passengers stuck

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Snow delays 260 flights from Jeju, passengers stuck


An airplane taxis on a runway at Jeju International Airport while heavy snowfall hindered operations at the airport on Monday. [YONHAP]

Heavy snow on Jeju Island delayed at least 260 flights Sunday, and some 250 stranded passengers spent the night at the airport. The accumulated snowfall on Monday morning was 94 centimeters (37 inches) on Mount Halla, 20.5 centimeters in Yusuam-ri, which is 10 kilometers west of Jeju City, 6.2 centimeters in Jeju City and 1 centimeter in Seogwipo.

Some 20 flights were canceled at Jeju International Airport on Sunday.

Additionally, 48 flights were delayed on Monday morning as the airport workers de-iced the planes.

It snowed 6.1 centimeters in Jeju City on Thursday, 6.4 centimeters on Friday, 9 centimeters on Saturday and 8.5 centimeters on Sunday.

The Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA) issued a strong wind advisory and heavy snow warning for Jeju Island on Monday. A strong wind advisory is issued when the wind speed on land is expected to exceed 14 meters per second (31 miles per hour). A heavy snow warning is issued when the snowfall is expected to be more than 5 centimeters in the next 24 hours.

The entrance to Mount Halla was closed since Saturday. The national weather agency said heavy snowfall on Jeju is expected through today. The rest of the country was hit by cold waves on Monday. The KMA issued cold wave warnings for Uijeongbu and Paju in Gyeonggi, Pyeongchang and Jeongseon counties and Chuncheon in Gangwon, Chungju and Jecheon in North Chungcheong, and Andong and Bonghwa County in North Gyeongsang. A cold wave advisory was issued in Seoul on Monday.

Cold wave warnings are issued when the temperature on a morning drops more than 15 degrees Celsius below the temperature of the previous morning and falls below 3 degrees Celsius (37.4 degrees Fahrenheit); or when the lowest temperature on a morning is expected to be negative 15 degrees Celsius or lower for two days in a row; or when accidents or infrastructure damage is expected from the rapid drop in temperature.

A cold wave advisory is issued under similar but less severe conditions.

The temperature in Seoul dropped to negative 11.6 degrees Celsius on Monday morning, with the real-feel temperature at negative 16.6 degrees Celsius. The highest temperature in Seoul on Monday was negative 5.1 degrees Celsius. On the same day last year in Seoul, the lowest temperature in Seoul was negative 1.5 degrees Celsius and the highest 2.3 degrees Celsius. On Monday morning in other areas, it was negative 9.6 degrees Celsius in Incheon; negative 11.2 degrees Celsius in Suwon, Gyeonggi; negative 16.6 degrees Celsius in Chuncheon; negative 7.7 degrees in Busan; and 0.1 degrees Celsius in Jeju.

“As the high-pressure air is expanding above the Peninsula, the cold air measuring some negative 30 degrees Celsius will be descending onto the land, from the northern side to the south, down to North and South Chungcheong,” said Noh Yu-jin, a weather analyst at the KMA. “The cold wave is expected to lift a bit by the middle of the week. But it will be colder than it was last year around this time for a while.”

Sunday was the traditional date for beginning of spring, according to the lunar calendar.

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