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Korea is having its hottest June ever now: weather agency

Previous record of hottest June in 2018 broken by large margin

June 23, 2024 - 14:52 By Lee Jung-joo
A person cools off by washing his face with cold water on June 19 in Daegu, as daytime temperatures reached as high as 37 degrees Celsius that day. (Yonhap)

It’s official: South Korea is experiencing its hottest June ever, and by a significant margin.

According to the Korea Meteorological Administration on Sunday, regions across the country recorded an average of 2.4 heat wave days from June 1 to 20, which is four times the average from 1991 to 2020.

The previous record was set in 2018, when there were 1.5 heat wave days. A heat wave day, as defined by the KMA, is when daytime temperatures soar above 33 degrees Celsius.

This year’s first heat wave warnings, issued when high temperatures 33 degrees or more are projected to continue for two or more days, were announced June 10 in regions including Daegu, Ulsan and Gyeongju in North Gyeongsang Province. This was a week earlier than last year’s first warnings, issued June 17, 2023.

Hot temperatures expanded nationwide, with advisories issued in 92 regions nationwide on June 19, including in Seoul.

The weather agency attributes the early summer heat to a migratory anticyclone, which brought more sunny days and hot air due to southwesterly winds.

The KMA anticipates the high temperatures to temporarily cool down as monsoon season is soon expected to expand nationwide.

The rainy season began on Jeju Island on Wednesday, stretching toward the southern mainland on Saturday.

The KMA forecast that average temperatures next week will be similar to or slightly above normal, with morning temperatures expected to range between 18 and 24 degrees and daytime temperatures from 25 to 31 degrees.

But once the rainy season ends, the summer heat will begin in earnest, the KMA said, with high humidity levels making it feel even hotter.

The weather agency warned that summer is just beginning, as after the respite during the monsoon season Korea will enter into full-fledged summer in July and August, with intensifying heat waves nationwide.