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Korea sees second hottest weather on record in 2019

The year 2019 was the second-hottest year on record in South Korea, a government report said Thursday, bringing fresh attention to the effects of global warming.

The report issued by the Korea Meteorological Administration said the nation's average annual temperature was 13.5 C, the second-highest figure since relevant record keeping began in 1973.

The highest average temperature of 13.6 C was recorded in 2016.


Last year's average was also 1 C above the 30-year average between 1981 and 2010, the KMA report noted.

The average annual maximum temperature for last year rose to an all-time high of 19.1 C, while its average annual minimum temperature was 8.6 C, the fifth-highest figure on record.

The report explained that last year's summer heat wave was not more severe than the previous year but that average monthly temperatures were 1.1 C to 1.6 C above the 30-year average in all months, except April, June and July, when the weather was frequently affected by cold air from the north.

"In 2019, the world's average temperature was also the second-highest on record after 2016. It is likely that the rising temperatures in our nation were also affected by the global warming," said the report.

It added that the Korean Peninsula was hit by a record-tying seven typhoons last year and received less precipitation.

Compared with the 30-year average of 3.1 typhoons, last year's seven ties with the previous records set in 1950 and 1959.

The average annual cumulative precipitation across the country was 1,171.8 millimeters, compared with the 30-year average of 1,207.6 to 1,446 mm. Notably, a record 169 mm of rain was recorded in October, whereas January saw a mere 8.1 mm in precipitation, the fifth-smallest amount on record.

"The increase in the number of typhoons was due to rising sea surface temperatures, while decreased snow was a result of the weakening of Siberian high pressure. It can be said that both phenomena may have been affected by global warming, though there may be differences in severity," said the KMA report.

Indeed, the weakening of Siberian high pressure resulted in a steep fall in snow in January and December last year.

There was no snow recorded in Seoul in January, nor in Incheon, Daejeon, Pohang, Daegu and Jeonju in December. (Yonhap)