Cold snap grips country ahead of Christmas

  • Published : Dec 24, 2010 - 19:23
  • Updated : Dec 24, 2010 - 19:23

A cold spell gripped the nation a day before Christmas on Friday, the December temperature falling to the lowest level in three decades.

As of Friday morning, the mercury dropped to minus 14.4 degrees Celsius in Seoul, falling by more than 10 degrees from the previous day, the weather agency here said.

The temperature will remain below zero the whole day and through Christmas in most regions, with snow expected near the country’s west coast, the Korea Meteorological Administration said. 
Students of an elementary school in central Seoul huddle against the wind as they go home Friday for a month of winter vacation. (Yonhap News)

The weather agency issued a cold wave watch in Seoul and most parts of the nation and said icy weather is expected to last for two or three days.

Temperature is expected to be minus 14 degrees Celsius in Seoul on Christmas day, while Daegwallyeong, a mountain path in South Korea’s northeastern region just kilometers south of the inter-Korean border, will see the mercury slipping to minus 17 degrees Celsius, according to the KMA.
CHRISTMAS PRAYERS — Children pray in front of a Nativity scene depicting the birth of Jesus, displayed at the Myeongdong Catholic Cathedral in Myeong-dong, central Seoul, Friday. (Ahn Hoon/The Korea Herald)

The KMA also advised people to be cautious about fire, as the air is dry. The cold spell will be fading out next week with the mercury expected to go up to the annual average level around Tuesday, it said.

By Shin Hae-in (