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Scorching heat to continue, but rain expected over weekend

June 20, 2024 - 15:31 By Lee Jung-joo
A pedestrian walks while covering his head with a pamphlet in the middle of a heat wave in Gwanghwamun Square, central Seoul, Wednesday. (Yonhap)

Hot temperatures from Wednesday continued into Thursday, and are expected to continue into the weekend, according to the Korea Meteorological Administration on Thursday.

Heat wave advisory warnings that had been issued in 92 regions across South Korea consinued through Thursday. Four cities in Gyeonggi Province -- Gapyeong, Goyang, Yongin and Anseong -- raised their heat warning level to the second-highest level in the four-tier system. While the first-level heat wave alert is issued when the highest apparent temperature is expected to reach 33 degrees Celsius or higher for two consecutive days, the second-level alert is issued when the highest temperature is expected to reach 35 C or higher.

Daytime temperatures nationwide were expected to range between 25 C and 35 C, as Korea’s central region, North Jeolla Province and North Gyeongsang Province, expect to see daytime temperatures rise up to 33 C. Other provinces in the southern region were expected to see daytime temperatures rise up to 30 C.

Seoul, which saw its first heat wave warning of the year issued on Wednesday, was to see daytime temperatures reach as high as 35 C. Gangneung, Gangwon Province, was hit with another tropical night, with its daytime temperatures expected to reach up to 36 C.

A car drives through a large puddle, causing the car to create a big splash at Seogwipo-si, Jeju Island, Thursday. (Newsis)

Monsoon season started on Jeju Island, as heavily hit regions of the island saw 30 to 50 millimeters of rain per hour as of 4 p.m., Thursday. Other regions in the island saw 20 to 30 mm of rain per hour.

On Thursday afternoon, both heavy rain and strong wind warnings were issued in Jeju Island, under expectations of torrential rain reaching up to 30 mm per hour, as well as wind speed and wind gusts exceeding 14 meters and 20 m per second, respectively.

Due to heavy rainfall, as of 4 p.m., Jeju Fire Station has received up to eight reports of flooding damage in places such as roads, restaurants, and underground parking lots. Fire officials began drainage operations soon after receiving these reports.

Due to rain and thick clouds, temperatures in Jeju Island and across the southern region have cooled slightly.

According to the KMA, rain is expected to fall nationwide Saturday, as monsoon season is to begin in the southern region with the North Pacific High subtropical anticyclone extending northwest and low pressure developing over the west coast.

For Saturday, the southern region can expect to see heavy rain ranging between 80 and 100 mm. However, the KMA added that there is a small possibility of even more rain falling if the low pressure trend along the west coast develops stronger than expected.

The KMA anticipates some 5 to 20 mm of rainfall in the Chungcheong region and areas further north. However, this will not be declared as the start of monsoon season for the area, as it will be only temporary with low pressure passing through.

The Greater Seoul area -- Seoul, Incheon and Gyeonggi Province -- and Gangwon Province may also see rain showers on Monday, as low pressure moves toward the north.

While Saturday’s nationwide rain will temporarily cool the scorching heat, the KMA said it would feel much hotter than the actual temperature due to the humidity.