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Heavy snow hits S. Korea, with more expected

Up to 70 cm of snow still expected in mountainous regions of Gangwon Province

Feb. 22, 2024 - 14:57 By Lee Jung-joo
A passerby walks near Suwon World Cup Stadium in Suwon, Gyeonggi Province, where 3 to 8 centimeters of snow had fallen as of Thursday morning. (Yonhap)

After more than 8 centimeters of snow was dumped on Seoul, Incheon and Gyeonggi Province on Thursday, snowfall continued in Gangwon Province and other regions, with up to 70 cm expected in the worst affected areas.

Cold temperatures and strong winds are forecast to persist in other regions.

As of Thursday morning, Greater Seoul and the Chungcheong provinces saw 3-8 cm of snow, following a mix of snow and rain Wednesday evening. In Seoul, 12.3 cm of snow had fallen as of Thursday morning.

From Thursday afternoon some parts of Greater Seoul -- which includes the capital as well as Incheon and Gyeonggi Province -- saw little precipitation, with none in the North and South Chungcheong provinces.

Also on Thursday, 20-40 cm of snow fell on parts along the east coast of Gangwon Province, while mountainous regions in the province saw up to 50 cm of snow.

Snow is expected to continue in Gangwon Province until Friday, with 5 to 15 cm more expected along the east coast of Gangwon Province and 10 to 30 cm more in the mountains.

On Friday, snow is also expected in the Jeolla and Gyeongsang provinces, as well as on Jeju Island.

Average morning temperatures Thursday ranged between minus 2 degrees Celsius and 6 C, while daytime temperatures ranged from 1-8 C -- similar to average temperatures in previous years. However, alerts for strong winds and high seas have been issued in some coastal areas in the south of the country.

Wind speeds are expected to reach as much as 35 to 65 kilometers per hour in southern regions, with waves swelling up to 5 meters or more.

A passerby walks by while reading a book near Deoksugung in Jung-gu, central Seoul, Thursday. (Yonhap)

In areas that experienced heavy snowfall, the Korea Meteorological Administration warned of possible accidents on the road, as slippery, icy roads would be expected with Thursday’s low temperatures.

Meanwhile, Gangwon Province had already seen up to 24 car accidents as of 6 a.m. on Thursday, with 34 injured in the process. In Seoul, Subway Line No. 5 experienced delays of up to 25 minutes as outdoor tracks were affected by snow. Line Nos. 2 and 7 also experienced delays of up to 25 minutes due to signal problems. All three delays were resolved by Seoul Metro on Thursday morning.

On Friday, temperatures are expected to drop as low as minus 4 C, with daytime temperatures ranging between 7 C and 12 C. Over the weekend, heavy rain is expected to fall on Jeju Island and in South Jeolla Province, while cloudy weather is expected in other regions.