GK:1.3.1 Special Characteristics of Korea’s Climate
Geography of Korea: I. Natural Environment > 2. Climate > 1) Special Characteristics of Korea’s Climate
1) Special Characteristics of Korea’s Climate
The climate of the Korean Peninsula exhibits four distinct seasons, with generally long summers and winters and brief springs and falls. Such distinct seasonal climates have been the lifeblood in the formulation of the Korean national spirit. Elongated as it is, the peninsula also has great variations in climate as one moves from north to south. In the northern region the annual temperature range can be as much as 40˚C, whereas in the southern coastal regions it is only about 20˚C. A climate with such a great variation between summer and winter is termed a continental climate. More precisely, Korea has what is called an east coast climate, meaning that as result of its location on the eastern edge of the Asiatic continent its winters are colder and its summers hotter than locations at approximately the same latitude but on the continent’s western side.
Meanwhile, the Korean Peninsula is situated in the middle latitudes of the westerly belt. Because of this, migratory high pressure systems from China as well as temperate low pressure systems move towards Korea, such that meteorological changes typically begin in the west and then move eastward. These high and low pressure systems have a great effect on the weather of the peninsula.