Jeju saw its first monsoon of the season hit on Tuesday, with up to 80 mm of rain falling throughout the day in parts of the island. The Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA) even issued a heavy rain advisory for those areas.
This is the start of the island’s rainy season. It normally begins closer to the end of June, but last year it arrived in the middle of the month, the earliest on record for Korea.
And although the entire country has a rainy season, Jeju is different in some interesting ways.
According to the KMA, Jeju’s annual rainfall comes to about 2,000 mm. Of that, about about 43 percent falls in June, July and August. Seoul, by contrast, sees about 60 percent of its annual rainfall during that time.
The reason? The island’s geography means it gets spring seasonal rains, known as a “bracken rainy spell.” During this time, the island gets about 23 percent of its annual precipitation before the rainy season even begins.
Apart from the gloomy weather and danger of flooding, the rainy season can be a big problem for farmers and their crops.
Jeju’s mandarin orange growers, for example, need to spray their trees to prevent diseases, but prolonged rain and damp conditions can mean delays. Onion and potato farmers, too, can have problems as they need dry soil for planting.
For more information on Jeju’s weather in English, go to the KMA Web site and select Jeju as your region.