Several areas across South Korea -- but especially eastern Gangwon Province -- were hit by a snowstorm Sunday, with slightly colder temperatures than average expected in the coming week, a weather agency said.
A heavy snow advisory was in effect in most of Gangwon Province as of 3 p.m. Sunday, with at most 50 centimeters of snowfall in the region to be expected until Monday. The snowstorm led to closures of 10 mountain roads and trails of several national parks within the region, as of Sunday 8 a.m.
About 10 cars were stranded on a highway section in Goseong, a coastal county in Gangwon Province, while several sections of roads in Sokcho and Yangyang were temporarily blocked due to accumulated snow, according to reports. More than 100 traffic accidents, with no cases of death or injury, had been reported as of Sunday afternoon.
Earlier in a briefing Friday, the Korea Meteorological Administration called for special attention to prevent traffic accidents or the collapse of facilities due to the weight of snow. In particular, people in mountainous areas of Gangwon Province are urged to pay special caution when traveling due to fog caused by low clouds and snow, the agency added.
A long-running dry weather advisory in Gangwon Province, on the other hand, is to be lifted after about two months, due to the heavy snow.
On Friday, the KMA forecast very heavy snow from early Saturday to Monday, centering on the eastern part of Gangwon Province.
Snowfall in mountainous areas and the northeast coastal areas of Gangwon Province was estimated to amount to 20 to 50 centimeters until Monday, while more than 70 cm of snow was predicted to have accumulated in the mountains of Gangwon Province.
The central and southeast coastal areas of Gangwon Province and northeast North Gyeongsang Province were also expected see 10 to 30 cm of snowfall, while 3 to 10 cm on the inland areas of Gangwon Province was expected.
Seoul, western Gyeonggi Province and Incheon were forecast to see milder snowfall of 1 to 3 cm.
After a short halt Monday, rain or snow will fall again later this week. The Seoul metropolitan area and western part of Gangwon Province will see snow or rain on Thursday afternoon, and Jeju Island is to see snow or rain Friday morning, weather officials said.
Meanwhile, this week's temperatures will be slightly lower than average due to the influence of a cold continental anticyclone combined with strong winds.
From Wednesday to Friday, morning temperatures will stay between minus 11 and 1 degrees Celsius and daytime temperatures will stay between minus 4 and 8 C, similar to or slightly lower than average temperatures for this time of year.