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Nation gripped by season's coldest weather

A cold wave swept across the nation on Friday, with the mercury dipping to near or below zero in Seoul and central areas, weather authorities said.

According to the Korea Meteorological Administration (KMA), the morning low dropped to minus 4.7 C at Mount Seorak in the northeastern province of Gangwon and minus 3.4 C at nearby Hyangro Peak in Inje, while temperatures dived to the season's lowest in almost all other regions nationwide.

The morning low fell to 1.1 C in Seoul's northwestern district, minus 2.3 C in Hongcheon of Gangwon Province, minus 1.1 C in Eumseong of North Chungcheong Province, minus 0.7 C in Bonghwa of North Gyeongsang Province and minus 0.2 C in Jeju Island's mountainous region.

Frost and ice formation were witnessed in many mountainous and inland areas.

Due to strong winds, the sensible temperatures are far lower than the official ones, the KMA said, noting a cold wave advisory has been issued for most mountainous regions in Gangwon Province.

The whole country is generally clear but the morning lows dived below zero in many regions due to the cooling of the surface at night, the agency explained.

The cold wave is expected to peak on Saturday morning before gradually abating, it said, adding near-zero temperatures will continue through Sunday morning in some inland regions. (Yonhap)