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Weather service issues first 'cold wave advisory' for Seoul region this winter

All News 18:19 January 18, 2016

SEOUL, Jan. 18 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's weather service on Monday issued its first "cold wave advisory" for the Seoul region this winter as temperatures dropped way below freezing.

The alert that went into effect as of 6 p.m. will affect the capital city, the port city of Incheon, and parts of Gyeonggi, South Chungcheong, North Chungcheong and North Gyeongsang provinces, the Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA) said.

The agency said besides the advisory, it has issued more severe "cold wave warnings" for 27 cities and counties in northern Gyeonggi and Gangwon provinces. It said a warning is also in effect for Jecheon, a mountainous part of North Chungcheong Province.

The cold wave advisory goes into effect if the mercury drops by more than 10 degrees compared to the day before or if early morning lows drop below minus 12 degrees Celsius for two straight days.

A cold wave warning is called if the temperature drops more than 15 degree vis-a-vis the previous day, and if morning lows fall below minus 15 degrees Celsius for two consecutive days. The warning, moreover, is issued if the average mean temperature is 3 degrees below what is normal for that time of year.

"A very cold, high pressure system from northern China is exerting influence over the Korean Peninsula, causing temperatures to drop sharply," the KMA said. It said such conditions may last for some time.

Related to the sharp drop in temperatures, the government said it will carry out inspections of key gas pipes and water mains as well as the numerous subway systems to make certain there are no problems.

Regional governments, such as the Seoul municipal authority, said they plan to check welfare shelters and places where many homeless people gather to protect them from exposure to the extreme cold.

yonngong@yna.co.kr
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