SEOUL, Aug. 28 (Korea Bizwire) – The Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA) has developed an array of specialized weather services to cater to diverse user needs.
These encompass customized forecasts tailored for orchardists, predictions for solar power generation based on insolation, and weather insights for prominent tourist attractions.
Among these segments, orchardists rely heavily on KMA data. They’ve confronted an unusually challenging year due to extreme weather conditions. An unseasonably warm spring triggered early fruit tree blossoms preceding the bee season.
Abruptly in early April, freezing temperatures devastated budding crops, to the dismay of farmers nationwide.
An unsettled June saw double the average lightning strikes, accompanied by damaging hailstorms. July’s torrential rain showers compounded woes.
Data from the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs disclosed cold damage affecting 9,628 hectares of farmland between April 10 and May 8.
Orchards accounted for 95 percent of this harm. June’s hailstorms ravaged 3,279 hectares on three occasions.
Overall, flooding and fallen fruit damaged 68,567 hectares in June and July – an area 236 times the size of Yeouido in Seoul.
Since 2020, the Daegu Regional Meteorological Administration has provided an alert service for 11 disaster weather types, including frost, cold snaps, freezing rain, heavy rain, heatwaves, cold waves, snowstorms, strong winds, drought, and lack of sunlight.
This service aids North Gyeongsang Province, home to a significant number of open-air fruit farmers. The ‘Fruit Weather Alert’ app sends notifications for impending dangerous weather stages.
Presently, around 1,200 farmers utilize this service. Its cornerstone is a customized forecast integrating numerical projections with a historical statistical algorithm.
Risk stage thresholds are tailored for each fruit type, like apples, persimmons, grapes, peaches, plums, and pears.
For instance, grape cold risk levels in April span from ‘Caution’ at -0.6 degrees to ‘Danger’ at -1.1 degrees. This accounts for varying fruit tolerances.
For farmers, early frost warnings are invaluable. While frost might not perturb city dwellers, it can devastate farmers. The KMA boasts an 86 percent accuracy rate in predicting frost.
An official from the Daegu Regional Meteorological Office noted farmers’ primary concern is frost prevention. He underscored the value of advance frost forecasts, a service often absent in general weather predictions.
The Gangwon Provincial Meteorological Office is also gaining attention for its surfing-oriented weather service.
Developed in tandem with Yangyang County, a burgeoning surfing mecca, the service caters to the rising number of surfing accidents.
Surfing’s popularity in Korea exceeds a million enthusiasts, with Yangyang attracting around 650,000 visitors solely for surfing as of 2021.
Gangneung Asan Hospital reported 780 surfing-related emergency room visits between 2016 and July this year.
Drawing from its algorithm and data on wave conditions, water temperature, currents, clouds, and lightning, the Gangwon Provincial Meteorological Office plans to deliver updates for 48 east coast spots, including Jukdo Beach and Inju Beach in Yangyang County.
These updates will detail sea safety for both experienced and novice surfers.
Anticipated to launch next year, the surfing safety and activity weather service will be accessible through platforms like ‘Go Go Yang Yang,’ the KMA website, and billboards.
Kevin Lee (email@example.com)