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Summer this year forecast to be hotter

May 23, 2024 - 17:30 By Song Seung-hyun
People cross a street in Seoul on Thursday. (Yonhap)

Summer in South Korea this year is expected to be hotter than usual, with similar or more heavy rainfall than the average, the Korea Meteorological Administration said on Thursday.

"Amid seeing the frequent occurrences of abnormal weather worldwide, such as heat waves exceeding 40 degrees Celsius in Southeast Asia and floods in the United Arab Emirates, Korea is also forecast to have hotter temperatures (this summer) than in the last 30 years’ average, with the possibility of more rainfall," Yoo Hee-dong, the weather agency’s director general, told a press briefing.

The KMA’s three-month prediction shows that there is a 50 percent chance for temperatures in June and August to exceed the previous three-decade average, which is 21.1-21.7 degrees Celsius for June and 24.6 to 25.6 degrees Celsius for August. The likelihood of temperatures falling within the average range is 30 percent for both months.

As for July, the prediction gives a 40 percent chance of temperatures surpassing the average range of 24-25.2 degrees recorded during the past 30 years, with another 40 percent chance of staying within the range.

The agency attributed the anticipated rise in summer temperatures to above-average sea surface temperatures in the tropical western Pacific this spring.

Such temperatures strengthen convective activity, leading to rising air currents that ultimately induce descending air currents over East Asia, including Korea. These descending air currents contribute to clear skies, increased sunlight and more radiation, all of which contribute to rising temperatures.

Regarding precipitation, the KMA's three-month prediction suggests a 50 percent chance of June's rainfall mirroring the 30-year average of 101.6 to 174.0 millimeters and another 30 percent chance of exceeding that and a 20 percent chance of less rainfall.

For July and August, the agency predicts a 40 percent chance of precipitation exceeding the 30-year average, a 40 percent chance of matching it, and a 20 percent chance of drier conditions.