Gangwon-do belongs to seasonal wind regions and has 4 clearly-divided seasons of spring, summer, fall and winter. These four seasons have such completely different characteristics that they seem to be 4 different worlds. The winter of Gangwon-do, is appropriate to enjoy winter sports such as skiing, as having cold, dry and snowy weather. In summer, it is hot and humid under the influence of oceanic climate. Especially, in June ~ August, it rains heavily. Spring and fall are the best seasons of the year because of the clear, dry and warm climate.
The beginning of the season in which all things are restored, spring is called ‘the queen of the seasons’ with flowers around the mountains and fields as well as new sprouts on trees as the frozen land starts to melt.
Summer is called the season in which all creatures grow. Most Koreans leave the city for their summer vacation and head towards Gangwon-do.
Fall is known as the season of richness and fruitfulness. Fall, in Gangwon-do, is when the mountains are colored in red and the sky is a clear blue. It is the shortest and the most beautiful of the 4 seasons.
In Korea, the winter starts from the first snow in Gangwon-do. Thanks to the fantastic snow and ice that turns the world completely white; Gangwon-do has become the Mecca for winter spots in Asia.
Gangwon-do is mostly located on high terrain, thus, it is usually a little cooler than the Gyeongi-do region, which lies at the same latitude as Gangwon-do. Also, there exists a distinctive difference in climate between Yeongseo (western part of Gangwon-do) and Yeongdong (eastern part of Gangwon-do). The annual average temperature in Chuncheon-si in Yeongseo is about 10.5℃, and Gangneung-si in Yeongdong is around 12.1℃, showing average 1.6℃ difference in annual temperature. The average temperature in January is 7.3℃ in Chuncheon, and －1.0℃ in Gangneung, so there is a 6.3℃ degree temperature difference between the two. The average temperature in August is 25.5℃ in Chuncheon-si and Gungneung-si is 24.3℃, so the temperature in Chuncheon-si is 1.2℃ higher. The average annual precipitation in Chuncheon-si is 1,224.9mm, and in Gangneung it is 1,282.1mm, so, in Gangneung gets about 57.2mm more rain.
Up on Taebaek Mountain, lots of snow falls as the chilly northwesterly wind hits the mountain terrain. When there is heavy snow on the mountain, the roads get blocked off which causes some inconvenience. The average precipitation in Daegwanryeong is 1581mm, which is one of the rainiest areas in Korea. There is also a wide range of weather dispersion existing in each season that Yeongdong often experiences foehn as a result of Taebaek Mountain Range blocking off northwesterly wind. Yengdong is a little warmer than west coast by 4℃ because of warm seawater moving northward. On the contrary, Yeongseo region is directly under the influence of northwesterly winds, so the cold climate continues in the winter. In the summer, it stays constantly warm because of the inland location; therefore, there is a great difference in the annual temperature range. Owning to the vertical ecological climate of Daegwanryeong it gets 4℃ cooler than most flat areas, even in the summer. Large amount of cold climate crops grow in the region due to the existing high humidity and thick fog. The coast is a bit cooler than the inland, and lots of snow falls in the winter.
The first snow in Korea has happened around November 22 for the last 30 years in Seoul, and the earliest was October 23 and the latest was December 31.
In the mountainous areas of Gangwon-do, it starts to snow from the middle of October, and in inland areas, it starts to snow from mid and late November.