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Sunday, August 26, 2012

장마 (Korean Rainy Season)

Monsoon season. Every Korean's least favorite time of the year. It usually begins around the beginning of July and lasts until around the end of August. During these two months, Korea receives about half of its annual rainfall. These are also the two hottest months in Korea and temperatures can reach up into the high 90's (mid 30's in Celsius). These two months are probably the least desirable time to visit Korea, but most days are still fine. I've never lived in a country with a true rainy season and I was expecting that it would rain at just about the same time everyday, but usually what happens is that it always just looks like it's about to rain but most days it doesn't rain. I would guess that it's only rained about one third of the days in July and August so far (it actually just started raining as I wrote that sentence…). When it does rain it often rains hard. A few days ago it rained harder then I'd ever seen it rain before, and it fell in constant sheets for about two days straight. 
The heat mixed with the constant high humidity don't seem to go over well with the people. It seems like the one thing every Korean person does around this time of year is complain. I've noticed that Korean people tend to whine about the weather all the time. If it's not too cold, then it's too hot and heaven forbid if the sun is shinning and it's hot! 
To me, the heat and humidity are nothing new and most days it really don't seem that bad. The temperature can get into the 90's, but the average high for August is only 84 (28 C). Most summer days are a bit warm, but the killer part is the constant gray sky, humidity, and random fits of rain. I don't usually say this, but I'm really excited for fall to begin. It's hard to do things in the summer given the weather, but the fall is more beautiful, cooler, and sunnier. 

Thanks for reading, 

The Han river on typical gray day in Seoul.

 A few days of rain almost overflowed the river.


  1. Here we go, our first typhoon! :)

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