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Four Seasons

Spring:  Spring begins during the middle of APril in the central part of the country and toward the end of April in the northern region.  Spring is rather short in the north.  As the Siverain high pressure weakens, the temperature rises gradually.  Yellow sand dust which originates in the Mongolian desert, known as hwangsa, occasionally invades Korea during early spring.  The hwangsa often causes low visibility and eye irritation.

Summer The summer can be divided into two period; changma, a rainy period which occurs during the early summer months and hanyorum, a hot and humid period which occurs during late summer.  The weather during the changma period is characterized by a marked concentration of rainfall.  More than 60 percent of the annual precipitation is concentrated between June and July.  In particular, July sees many rainy days which are followed by short dry spells and clear skies.  Much of the rainfall is due to summer monsoons which originate in the Pacific Ocean.  In Korea, changma means "the rainy season."

Rainfall during the summer time is characterized by heavy showers.  Daily precipitation often exceeds 200 mm (8 inches), with extremes topping 300 mm (12 inches).  Occasional torrential storms caused by typhoons that pass through the peninsula from China may sometimes cause a great deal of damage, although the loss of life is rare in these instances.

Regional temperature contrasts are not striking during the summer season although the northern interior and littoral are cooler than temperature in the south.  When hanyorum begins in August, the temperature rises abruptly as the changma front moves north towards Manchuria.  During this period, the weather becomes extremely hot and humid, particularly in the western plains and the Naktonggang river basin area.  The daily high temperature often rises to over 38 degrees C (100 degrees F).  Nights are also hot and humid.

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Autumn: Autumn is the season with crisp weather, much sunlight and changing autumn leaves.  his is the transitional season between the hot and humid summer and the cold and dry winter months.  Beginning in October, the continental air mass brings dry,  clear weather.  Traditionally, Koreans enjoy the season of harvest ch'usok which is one of the most important national holidays in Korea.  It is celebrated as a harvest festival, and occasionally referred to as the Korean version of the American Thanksgiving.  Autumn weather is nice, expressed in the simple words of an old Korean saying, "The sky is high and the horses get fat."

Winter:  The monsoonal arctic air from the interior of the Asian continent brings bitter cold and dry weather and occasional snow fall, adding warmth to the cold and dry winter weather periodically.  Significant regional climate variations are caused by differences in elevation and proximity to the seas as well as by differences in latitudinal location.  Regional differences in the monthly mean temperature during the month of January between the northern and the southern peninsula is about 26 degrees C (80 degrees F).  Snow remains longer on the ground in the north.  The frost-free period varies from about 130 days in the northern interior to about 180 days in the central region.  On the southern coast, the frost-free period is roughly 225 days of the year.

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Information provided by the Korean Embassy


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