Weather in Seoul: Climate, Seasons and Average Monthly Temperature

Seoul downtown cityscape with fortress and Namsan Seoul Tower on sunset Seoul, South Korea.
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Korea is a country with four distinct seasons. While each season has its own pros and cons, in general the best time to visit the peninsula is during the spring or fall, while summer and winter are often extremely hot or cold respectively. Each of the four seasons offers a distinct lineup of festivals and events, and should the weather be too cold or hot, just duck into one of the city’s 18,000 coffee shops (which are appropriately heated and air-conditioned by season).
Fast Climate Facts

  • Hottest Month: August (86 degrees F / 30 degrees C)
  • Coldest Month: January (27 degrees F / -2 degrees C)
  • Wettest Month: July (15.5 inches)
  • Windiest Month: February (9.4 mph)

Typhoon Season in Seoul

Like much of Asia, Seoul has a typhoon season from June through September. While there won't be frequent torrential downpours, humidity levels will be very high, there will be more rain, and higher chances of heavy storms during those months.

Fine Dust in Seoul

Fine dust, called hwang sa in Korean, used to only be an issue in Korea during the spring, and was the result of intense dust storms kicking up particles of sand from deserts in China. Now, because of increased industrial pollution and desertification, fine dust is a year-round threat. Keep an eye on the air quality index and be prepared to walk around in a face mask on days when the pollution is especially bad.

Spring in Seoul

March to May is arguably one of the most beautiful times in Seoul. Temperatures are fairly mild, and anticipation fills the air in advance city’s cherry blossom season. Not to mention the many festivals surrounding this gorgeous time of year. 

For the most part, spring is relatively dry, however it’s also a transition period that can range from warm days to snow-filled ones. Additionally, the chance of rain increases gradually as June, aka monsoon season, approaches.

What to pack: The weather is mercurial in spring, so it’s best to be prepared. Early spring necessitates a warm coat and waterproof shoes, while late spring can be hot and require only a T-shirt, jeans, and sandals. It’s good to note that an abundance of shops, vendors, and even convenience stores in Seoul sell inexpensive weather related items such as earmuffs, gloves, and umbrellas.

Average Temperatures by Month

March: 51 degrees F / 33 degrees F (11 degrees C / 0.5 degrees C)

April: 64 degrees F / 44 degrees F (18 degrees C / 7 degrees C)

May: 74 degrees F / 55 degrees F (23 degrees C / 13 degrees C)

Summer

Summer sees high humidity, frequent rainfall, and thunderstorms from June through September as a part of the larger East Asian monsoon season. As a result, umbrellas, raincoats, and rain boots are sold in all the high street shops, and flooding can become problematic near waterways or in low lying areas. 

July is the hottest summer month, where many Seoulites seek refuge in air-conditioned malls, coffee shops, and movie theaters. 

What to pack: Seoul summers are so hot and sticky you won’t want to get dressed at all. Pack lightweight shorts, skirts, and tops. For ladies, it’s considered impolite to wear spaghetti straps or show cleavage. Always keep an umbrella close at hand and pay attention to the weather forecast in case of an impending typhoon.

Average Temperatures by Month

June: 81 degrees F / 64 degrees F (27 degrees C / 18 degrees C)

July: 84 degrees F / 71 degrees F (29 degrees C / 22 degrees C)

August: 86 degrees F / 72 degrees F (30 degrees C / 22 degrees C)

Fall in Seoul

Generally by mid to late October, mornings and evenings become cooler and the leaves begin turning to rust-colored shades of red, brown and gold. Humidity and rain dissipate, leaving air that feels blessedly crisp after the long humid days of summer. 

Scarves and sweaters typically emerge as cool weather hits by mid-November, though skies remain blue and sun-filled. In short, the weather is perfect to explore Seoul’s many neighborhoods or palaces, leaf peep during a hike in Bukhansan National Park just outside the city, or participate in one of the city’s colorful festivals.

What to pack: As with spring, fall in Seoul is a transition month. Early autumn is still hot and humid, and late autumn can range from mild to frigid. Layering is your best bet, but be sure to have a coat at hand by the time November rolls around. Other than the end of monsoon season in September, fall is mostly dry.

Average Temperatures by Month

September: 79 degrees F / 62 degrees F (26 degrees C / 17 degrees C)

October: 68 degrees F / 49 degrees F (20 degrees C / 9 degrees C)

November: 53 degrees F / 35 degrees (12 degrees C / 2 degrees C)

Winter in Seoul

Winter days are often clear and sunny despite the frosty temperatures, though it does rain or snow sporadically. Heavy snow in Seoul is rare, though do keep an eye out for the wind-chill factor when the Siberian winds start blowing. 

Despite being relatively far north, Korea doesn’t observe Daylight Savings Time so it doesn’t get dark particularly early. 

What to pack: Everything you’d expect to wear on a cold winter’s day; sweaters, scarves, gloves, warm shoes and socks, and top it all off with a warm, heavy coat.

Average Temperatures by Month

December: 39 degrees F / 23 degrees F (4 degrees C / -5 degrees C)

January: 35 degrees F / 19 degrees F (2 degrees C / -7 degrees C)

February: 40 degrees F / 24 degrees F (4 degrees C / -4 degrees C)

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