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Weather in South Korea

Part of the East Asian monsoon region, South Korea has a temperate climate with four distinct seasons: spring, summer, autumn and winter. Winters are
usually long, cold, and dry, whereas summers are
short, hot, and humid.

Spring and autumn, which are pleasant but short in duration, provide a welcome relief from the extremes of summer and winter. Spring, from April to June, is generally good, before the summer monsoon rains.
The weather in early spring is somewhat unpredictable with frequent rainfalls and gusty winds carrying yellow dust from northern China. But in mid-April, the country enjoys balmy weather with the mountains and fields garbed in brilliant wild flowers. Farmers prepare seedbeds for the annual rice crop at this time. The
rainy season, so-called changma season, starts in late June and lasts through mid-July and often causes flooding of low areas.

Autumn is the best time to visit Korea - beautiful with crisp air and blue skies. The countryside is colored in a variety of mellow hues. This is the time for harvest and consequently the time for thanksgiving. Autumn in Korea is a delightful season featuring many folk festivals rooted in ancient agrarian customs. Winter starts in late November and lasts until early March. It is dominated by a high pressure zone caused by cold blasts of air from Siberia. There is little precipitation and the skies are usually clear. However snow is picturesque.

Temperatures range from a low of -15°C in winter to a high of 34.7°C in summer. Seoul's mean temperature in January is -5°C to - 2.5°C; in July the mean temperature is about 22.5°C to 25°C. Because of its southern location, Cheju Island has warmer and milder weather than other parts of South Korea. Mean temperatures on Cheju range from 2.5°C in January to 25°C in July.

The country generally has sufficient rainfall to sustain its agriculture. Rarely does less than 75 centimeters of rain fall in any given year; for the most part, rainfall is over 100 centimeters. Amounts of precipitation, however, can vary from year to year. The three months of June, July, and August have the heaviest rains, with July usually being the wettest month of the year.

South Korea is less vulnerable to typhoons than Japan, Taiwan, the east coast of China, or the Philippines. From one to three typhoons can be expected per year. Typhoons usually pass over South Korea in late summer, especially in August, and bring torrential rains. Flooding occasionally causes considerable damage.

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