Climate and monthly weather forecast
South Korea

Flag of South Korea
Flag of South Korea

The climate of South Korea

South Korea occupies the southern part of the Korean Peninsula, a landmass stretching out from the Asian mainland between the Yellow Sea to the west and the Sea of Japan to the east. Its geography comprises coastal plains, river basins, and rolling hills, with the Taebeak Mountains stretching down the eastern coastline. This diverse geography, combined with its location in the temperate zone, influences the country's varied climate patterns.

Under the Köppen climate classification, South Korea falls largely under the "Dwa" category, signifying a humid continental climate with hot summers. Throughout the year, South Korea experiences four distinct seasons with significant temperature fluctuations. Summers are warm to hot, often humid, with temperatures ranging from 22°C (71.6°F) to 30°C (86°F). Winters are cold, sometimes severely so, with temperatures plummeting to -10°C (14°F) and occasionally lower in northern regions. Precipitation is relatively evenly distributed throughout the year, but the majority falls during the monsoon season in summer.

The Best Time to Visit South Korea

The most favorable time to visit South Korea depends largely on the visitor's intended activities and weather preferences. However, many tourists find spring (from April to June) and autumn (from September to November) to be the most enjoyable times for a visit. During these periods, the weather is generally mild, with average temperatures ranging from 15°C (59°F) to 25°C (77°F). The spring offers an unforgettable sight as cherry blossoms paint the landscape, while the autumn is equally breathtaking with vibrant fall foliage. Rainfall is also typically low during these seasons, making it ideal for outdoor activities.

The Worst Time to Visit South Korea

The least desirable time to visit South Korea is during the summer months of July and August. This is when the country experiences its rainy season, with high levels of humidity and precipitation exceeding 300mm (11.81") in some areas. Additionally, temperatures can soar above 30°C (86°F), which, coupled with the humidity, can make outdoor activities uncomfortable. The winter months of December to February can also pose challenges for visitors unaccustomed to the cold, as temperatures can drop to -10°C (14°F), particularly in the northern regions of the country.

Spring Weather in South Korea

Spring in South Korea is generally mild and pleasant. It commences in March, with temperatures gradually rising from an average of 10°C (50°F) at the start of the season to 20°C (68°F) by the end of May. This period often brings clear skies and less frequent rain, typically under 70mm (2.76") of precipitation per month. The season is renowned for its spectacular cherry blossom displays, particularly in cities like Jinhae and Seoul, making it a popular time for festivals and outdoor activities.

Summer Weather in South Korea

Summers in South Korea, from June to August, are warm to hot and characterized by high humidity. Average temperatures typically range from 22°C (71.6°F) to 30°C (86°F) but can occasionally surpass 35°C (95°F) during heatwaves. The country also experiences its monsoon season during these months, known locally as "jangma". Rainfall can exceed 300mm (11.81") in July, the wettest month, often leading to localized flooding. Despite the humidity and rain, summer is a time of vibrant green landscapes and provides opportunities for water-based activities and festivals.

Autumn Weather in South Korea

Autumn, spanning from September to November, is marked by crisp weather and vibrant fall colors. Temperatures gradually cool from an average of 25°C (77°F) in September to 10°C (50°F) by November. Rainfall decreases significantly after the summer monsoon, with less than 60mm (2.36") typically falling per month. This period is an excellent time forhiking, particularly in the country's many national parks, as the fall foliage creates spectacular landscapes.

Winter Weather in South Korea

Winters in South Korea, from December to February, can be quite cold, particularly in the northern regions. Temperatures frequently drop to -10°C (14°F), and occasionally lower, while southern regions experience milder conditions, with lows generally around -5°C (23°F) and highs around 5°C (41°F). Snowfall is common during these months, particularly in mountainous areas, with January being the coldest and snowiest month. Despite the cold, winter brings with it a range of activities, including ice fishing festivals and skiing in the numerous resorts located in the Taebeak Mountains.

Weather in January

January is the coldest month of the year in South Korea, marked by low temperatures and frequent snowfall, especially in the northern regions and mountainous areas. Average low temperatures in Seoul, the capital, hover around -6°C (21.2°F), though temperatures can plunge below -10°C (14°F) during cold snaps. Weather in January »

Weather in February

February in South Korea continues the trend of cold weather established in January. Although still chilly, average temperatures typically increase slightly compared to the previous month. For instance, in Seoul, the average low temperature rises to -4°C (24.8°F), and the average high temperature increases to 4°C (39.2°F). Weather in February »

Weather in March

March signals the onset of spring in South Korea, bringing a welcome increase in temperatures and a decrease in snowfall. In Seoul, the average temperatures start to rise noticeably, with lows around 0°C (32°F) and highs nearing 10°C (50°F). Weather in March »

Weather in April

April in South Korea is a delightful time, with the spring season in full bloom and an appreciable rise in temperatures. In the capital city, Seoul, average temperatures range from 7°C (44.6°F) to 18°C (64.4°F), providing a pleasant and comfortable climate. Weather in April »

Weather in May

May is characterized by mild and pleasant weather in South Korea, making it a favored month for outdoor activities. In Seoul, the average low temperature increases to 12°C (53.6°F) while the average high reaches 22°C (71.6°F). The coastal city of Busan experiences a similar temperature range, with lows around 14°C (57.2°F) and highs averaging 22°C (71.6°F). The amount of rainfall in May typically doubles from April, averaging 105mm (4.13"). Weather in May »

Weather in June

June in South Korea represents the start of the summer season, marked by rising temperatures and the beginning of the monsoon season. In Seoul, the average temperatures range from 18°C (64.4°F) to 27°C (80.6°F), while Busan experiences slightly milder conditions, with average temperatures from 18°C (64.4°F) to 26°C (78.8°F). Rainfall increases dramatically in June, as the "jangma" or rainy season commences towards the end of the month. Weather in June »

Weather in July

July in South Korea is the peak of the summer season and typically the wettest month of the year due to the monsoon or "jangma". In Seoul, the temperatures range from 22°C (71.6°F) to 29°C (84.2°F), while in the southern city of Busan, temperatures are slightly cooler, ranging from 21°C (69.8°F) to 29°C (84.2°F). The monsoon season, which started in late June, is in full swing in July, leading to high levels of rainfall throughout the country. Weather in July »

Weather in August

August in South Korea continues the summer trend, with high temperatures and considerable humidity. In Seoul, temperatures range from 22°C (71.6°F) to 30°C (86°F), while the coastal city of Busan experiences a slightly milder climate with temperatures from 24°C (75.2°F) to 30°C (86°F). Rainfall begins to decrease in August as the monsoon season or "jangma" comes to an end. Weather in August »

Weather in September

September ushers in the autumn season in South Korea, a period marked by gradually cooling temperatures and a decrease in humidity. In Seoul, the average temperatures range from 16°C (60.8°F) to 26°C (78.8°F), while Busan experiences slightly warmer conditions, with average temperatures between 19°C (66.2°F) and 26°C (78.8°F). Rainfall continues to decrease in September, with an average of about 150mm (5.91"). Weather in September »

Weather in October

October in South Korea is fully within the realm of autumn, featuring mild temperatures, low rainfall, and vibrant fall colors. In Seoul, temperatures generally range from 9°C (48.2°F) to 20°C (68°F), while Busan, due to its southern location, has slightly warmer temperatures, ranging from 14°C (57.2°F) to 22°C (71.6°F). The amount of rainfall in October is considerably lower than in September, with an average of about 50mm (1.97"). Weather in October »

Weather in November

November in South Korea marks the transition from autumn to winter, characterized by rapidly falling temperatures and the first signs of frost and snow in the northern and mountainous regions. In Seoul, the average temperatures range from 1°C (33.8°F) to 11°C (51.8°F). Weather in November »

Weather in December

December in South Korea ushers in the full onset of winter, marked by cold temperatures and increased chances of snowfall. In Seoul, average temperatures can range from -5°C (23°F) to 4°C (39.2°F), making it one of the coldest months of the year. Weather in December »

South Korea

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