Korea’s climate is regarded as a continental climate from the temperature standpoint and a monsoonal climate from the precipitation standpoint. The beautiful country experiences four distinct seasons with a wet monsoon/summer in the middle of the year to a very cruel winter from November to March. The best time to visit the country is from September to November when the place is in its full autumnal bloom.
The seasons Korea can be classified into are:
Spring : Late March to May
Monsoon : June to early September
Autumn : September to November
Winter : December to mid-March
March to May experiences a relatively warm weather. It is a wonderful season with the mountains and fields covered with varied flowers including the much loved Cherry Blossom. The annual Cherry Blossom festival is held in Masan. It also marks the arrival of swallow, a migratory bird from south. This is the time when the slight drizzles actually help in harvesting rice, spring vegetables and barley. Spring is short in northern part of Korea. The country is swarmed by Japanese tourists during this time and it is virtually impossible for any other tourist to find a suitable accommodation in any of the top or middle tier hotels in the country.
Temperature: 5 to 18 degree C
This is the hot and humid time of the year. Sometimes temperature rises above 20 degree C and days do become a little bit uncomfortable. The days are muggy and sticky and the country experiences heavy rainfalls (including typhoons) which is generally more than 100 millimeters in a month. The rainy season is known as jangma. Floods are common during this period. The Southern coast is subject to late summer typhoons that brings with it heavy rainfall. For the records, Jeju-do off the southern coast is the warmest and wettest place in the country. On an average Pusan, the southernmost city tends to be 5 degrees C warmer then Seoul. But most schools do have aircon so you don’t get to feel the heat much. Subways, though, can be intoxicating.
Temperature: mid 20s C
This is considered to the most pleasant season in Korea. The weather is cool and sunny with near perfect temperatures. The fall is also known as the t-shirt weather. It is the perfect time to go for hiking. This is also the season of the ‘red leaf’ or maples as it is more commonly known to us. The leaves turn color at the onset of October. The peak period to see them is towards the end of the month. One can visit Mt. Seorak to have a great view of the beautiful autumnal scenery. The colorful leaves falling on the sidewalk adds color to the city and the view is simply enthralling. On the flip side the temperatures does fluctuate a lot between day and night.
Temperature: 3 to 26 degrees C
Winter weather in Korea is similar to the weather in Washington D.C. The temperature hovers around freezing and though it snows in Seoul, it rarely accumulates. It is bitterly cold during these months due to the cold Siberian air which blows from the north. The temples are all snow draped and the more adventurous one can go for skiing. The northern and the eastern parts of Korea is subject to heavy snow and hence a haven for skiers. You will not be able to see many tourists around at this time of the year. So until you enjoy roaming around in multi-layered clothing it is best to avoid a visit here. On the upside, Korean skies wear a clear blue sky throughout winter.
Temperature: -7 to 10 degrees C
OVERVIEW OF CLIMATIC CONDITIONS IN KOREAN TESOL LOCATIONS
Busan – 2nd largest Metropolitan city. It has an oceanic climate with mild temperatures throughout the year. The average is 15 degrees C with the number of rainy days pegged at 98.3. The best time to visit Busan is undoubtedly in the autumn.
Incheon – a major sea-port and a huge demand for ESL teachers. Temperate and enjoyable climate throughout the year. The annual average temperature is 11.3 degrees C and number of rainy days is 101.7.Again autumn is the best time to visit.
Daegu – the ‘city of hope’ enjoys an average temperature of 13.7 degrees C. Rainfall is similar to Incheon. The city is known for its fertile agricultural lands.
Gwangju – Mecca for arts and culture. The sixth largest city in South Korea enjoys an average temperature of 14 degrees C.
Daejeon – it’s the fifth largest city of South Korea. It enjoys a very basic season with temperatures dipping below zero in the winter, summers are warm and rainy.
Ulsan – the average annual temperature is 14.3 degrees C. The city, 70 km north of Busan, is the heart of the country’s industrial belt.
Gangwon – Since the climate belongs to a monsoon climate zone, it is cold and dry in winter and hot and humid during simmer months. Forest fires are quite common during summer in this part of the country.
Jeju – it is a volcanic island with a sub-tropical climate. Half of the summer is rainy while winter is dry.
Gyeonggi Provice (near Seoul) - the average annual temperature is 12-12 degrees C. It is a rainy region and 55.4 % of the region under forest.