Civil servants remove snow from roads in Seosan in the central South Korean province of South Chungcheong on Monday, in this photo provided by Seosan City Hall. (Seosan City Hall)
A heavy snow advisory was replaced by a cold wave alert in Seoul and central regions on Monday, the weather agency said, forecasting the capital's morning low will dip to minus 13 C on Tuesday.
The Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA) said it has lifted a heavy snow advisory issued for Seoul and central and southern regions and that a cold wave alert or warning will go into effect in those regions Monday night.
A cold wave warning is issued when the morning low is below minus 15 C for more than two consecutive days, or when the temperature drops sharply and major damage is expected. KMA also issues a cold wave alert when the morning low is below minus 12 C for more than two days.
Mountain areas in North Gyeongsang, Gangwon and Gyeonggi provinces are under both a cold wave warning and a heavy snow advisory, while the cold wave alert affects Seoul, Incheon and many areas in the central provinces of Gyeonggi and Chungcheong, KMA said. A heavy snow advisory is issued when it is predicted that more than 5 cm of snow will accumulate over 24 hours.
Between Sunday evening and Monday morning, many cities and counties in Gyeonggi, Gangwon, Jeolla and North Gyeongsang provinces were placed under a heavy snow alert or warning.
Hongcheon of Gangwon Province received 24.3 centimeters of snow as of 3:10 p.m., while snowfall in Gyeonggi, Chungcheong and Jeolla provinces ranged from 2.2 cm to 10.3 cm.
KMA previously forecast heavy snow for Seoul early Monday morning, but the actual amount of snowfall reached a mere 0.1 cm in downtown and 1 to 1.5 cm in southern areas. Bracing for snow-related traffic congestion, many commuters left for work up to an hour earlier than usual but eventually vented grievances about the inaccurate weather forecast.
Snowfalls will be followed by the inflow of cold air from the northwest Monday night, bringing down the sensible temperature to minus 18 to 20 C in Seoul on Tuesday morning, KMA said.
In Chuncheon, 85 km east of Seoul, the morning low will also tumble to minus 16 C, it added.
The mercury will rise by 4 to 7 C on Wednesday, but the freezing temperatures will persist in the central inland regions for the time being, the agency said. (Yonhap)