Rainy season forecast to start this weekend

SEOUL-- Monsoon rains are likely to hit most parts of the country this weekend, marking the start of the one-month summer rainy season, the state weather agency said Thursday.

The Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA) said heavy rains will fall on the southern island of Jeju on Saturday morning and spread to southern and central regions between late Saturday and Sunday.

It will be the sixth time on record that the onset of the rainy season, called "jangma," has taken place across the country on the same day.

This year marks the latest start of the wet period since 1987 for the central region, since 1992 for the southern region and since 1982 for Jeju Island, KMA data showed.

This year's jangma had been forecast to begin in late June but was delayed due to atmospheric stagnation.

As a stationary front over the East China Sea is gradually moving north, a low pressure system approaching from the west will bring heavy rains and strong winds to the country, the agency said.

The precipitation will be especially intense between Saturday night and Sunday morning, when up to 50 millimeters per hour of rain are expected for Jeju Island, central regions, Jeolla provinces and southern coastal areas.

Rainfall is likely to stop on Sunday afternoon in central and southern regions but will continue in Jeju Island and southern coastal areas well after Sunday, the KMA said.

Source: Yonhap News Agency