A cold spell swept through the center of the country on Thursday, with the mercury dipping to the lowest levels reported this winter, according to the state weather agency.
The first cold wave watches of the season were issued in central regions including Seoul and Incheon and Gyeonggi, Gangwon and North Chungcheong provinces, as the morning low reached minus 10.4 degrees Celsius in the morning, the Korea Meteorological Administration said.
The cold snap will be the worst on Friday, when temperatures are expected to fall below minus 10 degrees Celsius in some regions including Seoul.
With biting wind accompanied by a cold front in Seoul, the chill factor logged minus 16.9 degrees, officials said.
The temperature in Incheon dipped to minus 8.3 degrees Celsius, minus 7.7 degrees Celsius in Suwon in Gyeonggi Province, and minus 11.1 degrees Celsius in Cheorwon in Gangwon Province.
The severe cold weather sent the country’s power demand soaring. The maximum electricity demand reached its peak at 75.99 million kilowatts around 9.40 a.m., up 2.6 million kilowatts from a day earlier, the Korea Power Exchange said.
Seoul city launched nine taskforces to restore water meters that froze or broke in the city.
The piercing cold snap will ease off on the weekend, but will be back to grip the nation throughout next week with morning lows expected to match Friday’s minimum temperatures.
By Suk Gee-hyun (firstname.lastname@example.org)