From China to Japan, extreme cold is gripping East Asia. Experts say it's the 'new norm'
“Cold air from the North Pole has reached South Korea directly,” after traveling through Russia and China, Korea Meteorological Administration spokesperson Woo Jin-kyu told CNN.
Temperatures in parts of North Korea were expected to dip below minus 30 degrees Celsius (minus 22 degrees Fahrenheit), state media reported.
In neighboring Japan, hundreds of domestic flights were canceled on Tuesday and Wednesday due to heavy snow and strong winds that hampered visibility.
Major carriers Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways canceled a combined total of 229 flights.
High waves caused by a snowstorm on Jeju island, South Korea, January 24, 2023.
Yonhap News Agency/ReutersMeanwhile, high-speed trains were suspended between the northern Fukushima and Shinjo stations, Japan Railway Group said.
Mohe, China’s northernmost city, on Sunday saw temperatures drop to minus 53 degrees Celsius (minus 63.4 degrees Fahrenheit) – its coldest ever recorded, meteorologists said.
Ice fog – a weather phenomenon that occurs only in extreme cold when water droplets in air remain in liquid form – is also expected in the city this week, local authorities said.
Tourists pose for photos in front of a thermometer reading -11.3 degrees Celsius (11.6 F), in Otaru, Hokkaido prefecture of northern Japan on January 24, 2023.
“When sea ice is melted, the sea opens up, sending up more vapor into air, leading to more snow in the north.”As climate change worsens, the region would face more severe cold weather in the future, he said.
La Niña, which typically has a cooling effect on global temperatures, is one of the reasons for the current cold snap, he said.
And that certainly influences the kinds of patterns that tend to occur.