Seoul Experiences Heaviest December Snowfall in Over Four Decades

SEOUL: The city of Seoul witnessed its heaviest December snowfall since 1981 this Saturday, recording more than 10 centimeters of snow, as South Korea anticipates further snow and rain in the lead-up to the new year.

According to Yonhap News Agency, a heavy snow advisory was issued earlier in the day for the entire capital, select areas of Gyeonggi Province, and the eastern province of Gangwon. As of 4 p.m., the advisory was lifted for Seoul but remained in place for most parts of Gangwon. Inland and mountainous areas of the province experienced snowfall at rates of 1 to 4 centimeters per hour.

Seoul's snowfall reached a significant depth of 12.2 centimeters, the heaviest for December since 1981 when a record 18.3 centimeters was observed. Images captured show residents, including a child in Chuncheon, Gangwon Province, clearing snow on December 30, 2023.

In response to the challenging weather conditions, the city government deployed a substantial force of 4,689 personnel and 1,218 pieces of equipment for snow removal efforts throughout the capital. The snowfall led to minor traffic collisions and partial traffic restrictions on a central Seoul five-lane road, among other areas.

In one incident, a public bus in the eastern district of Gwangjin slid down an icy hill, resulting in minor injuries to the driver, passengers, and a passerby who was hit by the bus.

The weather agency also reported the likelihood of light rainfall or snowfall in the eastern parts of Gyeonggi Province and South Chungcheong Province. Additionally, more heavy snow warnings may be issued for the broader capital area and inland parts of Gangwon due to approaching snow clouds from the Yellow Sea.

For Sunday, the forecast across the country includes cloudy weather with rain or snow expected in the morning. There is also a possibility of heavy snowfall in the coastal areas of Gangwon Province in the afternoon.

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