Korean capital freezes in minus 10 degree wintry weatherWorld | 31 Dec 2019 1:10 pm
South Korea experienced freezing cold weather today, the last day of this year, with the windchill dipping below minus 30 degrees Celsius in some mountainous regions of Gangwon province, east of Seoul, Yonhap reports.
The Korea Meteorological Administration issued a cold wave alert or advisory for much of South Korea, excluding the southern island of Jeju, as the mercury dropped to the season's record low of minus 10.9 C in Seoul and minus 9.9 C in Incheon in the morning.
In Gangwon province, the nation's coldest region, temperatures plunged to minus 19.8 C on Mount Seorak, minus 13.7 C in Daegwallyeong, minus 11.7 C in Cheorwon and minus 8.9 C in Chuncheon as of 6 a.m., according to the met office.
Notably, the windchill temperature is estimated to have dropped to minus 32 C in the Mount Seorak areas.
The weather agency said the latest cold spell was caused by the approach of a cold front from the northwest, forecasting the mercury will gradually rise starting tomorrow afternoon.
In the central region, where a cold wave alert was in effect, the mercury dipped to minus 13.5 C in Yeoncheon, minus 12.1 C in Yangju, minus 11.2 C in Pocheon, minus 10.9 C in Paju, minus 9.7 C in Suwon, minus 8.8 C in Jecheon, minus 7.9 C in Sejong and minus 7.1 C in Daejeon.
The cold wave also hit the warmer southern regions, forcing Busan, the southern port city, to issue its first cold wave advisory this winter.
Busan's temperature fell to minus 0.9 C, while the mercury dropped to minus 5.1 C in Daegu, minus 3.8 C in Gwangju, minus 6.9 C in Andong, minus 3.6 C in Geochang and minus 1 C in Changwon.
Met officials said the daily high in the Seoul metropolitan area will remain below zero today, while the windchill will be much lower.
Citizens in Seoul and other cities went to work in thick winter jackets. There was a noticeable drop in pedestrians on streets. Merchants in traditional marketplaces also struggled to cope with a sudden dive in temperatures.