The Korea Herald


Hotter, wetter summer and possible El Nino: weather agency

By Lee Jung-youn

Published : May 23, 2023 - 15:10

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South Korea is expected to see higher temperatures and more precipitation than usual this summer, the weather forecaster said Tuesday.

Temperatures from June to August are 40 percent likely to be higher than usual or similar to the average year, a Korea Meteorological Administration briefing showed Tuesday, citing climate forecast models provided by 10 weather agencies.

During the summer, a possible El Nino could bring more rain to the peninsula than usual. Precipitation tends to increase mainly in the southern region of the Korean Peninsula when El Nino occurs.

In July, there is a high possibility of heavy rain, with a 40 percent chance that precipitation will be higher than or similar to the average year. The probability of rainfall in June and August being similar to the average year is 50 percent, and 30 percent for a higher than usual forecast.

El Nino is a natural phenomenon in which sea level temperatures in the eastern and central Pacific remain 0.5 degrees Celsius higher than usual for more than five months. When El Nino occurs, the high pressure, which is usually formed near the western Pacific Ocean next to Korea, moves eastward and affects the placement of air pressure near the Korean Peninsula and the weather.

The World Meteorological Organization predicted a 60 percent probability that El Nino will occur between May and July. It would be the first El Nino in about four years since during November 2019 to March 2020. The last El Nino summer was about eight years ago, from March 2015 to May 2016.

The KMA, however, dismissed concerns of a "super El Nino" and subsequent typhoons.

"Based on the results of climate forecast models in several countries, seawater temperatures in the El Nino monitoring area are not expected to rise sharply," Cho Kyung-sook, head of the climate prediction division of the KMA, said during the Tuesday briefing.