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Ultrafine dust returns, as cold spell subsides

All Headlines 17:25 December 09, 2019

SEOUL, Dec. 9 (Yonhap) -- South Korea will be blanketed by fine dust until the middle of this week, after cold spell abated over the weekend, meteorologists said Monday.

As the cold weather began to ease up on Saturday, almost all parts of the nation came under the influence of thick fine dust concentrations.

According to Air Korea, run by the Korea Environment Corp., ultrafine dust will remain at high levels in most parts of the country until Wednesday due to a steady influx of dust particles from China.

Seoul's daily average of PM 2.5, or fine dust particles smaller than 2.5 micrometers in diameter, had risen to 45 micrograms per cubic meter as of 10 a.m. Monday. The authorities classify a PM 2.5 reading from 36 micrograms per cubic meter to 75 as "bad."

Ultrafine dust returns, as cold spell subsides - 1

The PM 2.5 figures remained at bad all day in other parts of the nation, with Busan registering 36 micrograms, Daegu 39 micrograms, Gyeonggi Province 49 micrograms, Gangwon Province 36 micrograms, North Chungcheong Province 48 micrograms and South Chungcheong Province 38 micrograms, Air Korea said.

Local meteorologists attributed the latest fine dust to westerly winds blowing in smog from China.

As the cold Siberian high pressure weakened, the warm westerly winds carrying Chinese fine dust began to flow over the peninsula, they explained.

In recent years, a phenomenon of three cold days followed by four fine dust days has become common, they noted.

The Korea Environment Corp. said ultrafine dust is expected to surge to very bad levels in Incheon and Gyeonggi Province, in particular, on Tuesday.

"From late Wednesday, strong and fast northwesterly winds will flow over the peninsula, dispersing accumulated fine dust particles. On Thursday, the sky will clear up, while the temperature will again fall," said a corporation official.


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