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Only mid-May but temperatures in S. Korea soaring already Updated: 2019-05-17 13:39:52 KST

June is still a couple of weeks away, but already, strong sunlight beats down on the streets, with heat shimmer rising from the ground.
T-shirts, shorts and sunglasses, along with ice-cold drinks and a handheld fan have once again become necessities for people in South Korea.
With the heat arriving so early, many are concerned about how hot the upcoming summer will be this year.

"As soon as I get off the bus, it's very hot. It's impossible to walk around without a fan. Last year was hot, but this time I'm very worried."

While Gwangju already saw its first heat wave warning earlier this week, the entire nation saw temperatures we'd normally expect in July to August.
At the peak of the afternoon, road surface temperatures even soared to 50 degrees Celsius in some regions.

"I came from Daegu on a school trip, but Seoul is hotter than I expected. I wore cool clothes but I think it's very hot."

So what's causing this mini heat wave?

"The early heat is caused by a combination of strong sunlight, clear skies, and the formation of hot air in China. Westerly winds have brought the heat to South Korea."

While the heat will ease off a touch on Sunday, watchers say higher temperatures are expected in South Korea in June, with this summer potentially set to be one of the hottest in recent memory.
Lee Seung-jae, Arirang News.
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