Weather in Busan: Climate, Seasons, and Average Monthly Temperature

Cityscape and sea at night, Haeundae, Busan, South Korea
SAIK KIM / 500px / Getty Images

On a peninsula situated between China and Japan, the unique geography of South Korea makes it one of those beautiful nations that enjoys four distinct seasons. The colorful foliage and moderate temperatures of spring and fall draw visitors to the country’s mountains and national parks. Soaring summer temperatures make for bustling beaches, and frigid winter weather draws a dynamic winter sports scene, including the 2018 Winter Olympics in the northern mountains of PyeongChang.

The port city of Busan, set on South Korea’s southeast coast, is home to some of the country’s most desirable weather. While every season has its charms, Busan is well known for its white-sand beaches, packed to the brim during the hot and humid summer months of July, August, and September. In addition to being part of the ultra-humid monsoon season, summer temperatures can soar upwards of 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees Celsius). Still, a refreshing sea breeze helps keep torrid temperatures at bay.

Spring is a popular time to explore the many cherry blossom-dotted temples in Busan due to the mild temperatures (varying widely between March and May) ranging from 39 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius) to 71 degrees Fahrenheit (22 degrees Celsius). Fall is another popular season, when the trees and forests around the city turn into fiery-hued kaleidoscopes, and the temperature averages 61 degrees Fahrenheit (16 degrees Celsius).

As with most of South Korea, Busan’s least hospitable months are January and February. Though it doesn’t often snow or even rain in Busan in the winter months, temperatures range from 29 degrees Fahrenheit (-2 degrees Celsius) to 49 degrees Fahrenheit (9 degrees Celsius), and Siberian winds from the north often make the city seem much colder.

Each of the four seasons offers an intriguing lineup of festivals and events, and there are plenty of indoor and outdoor activities to keep you comfortable and entertained whatever the season’s skies may bring. Here’s all you need to know about weather and climate when planning your trip to Busan.

Fast Climate Facts

  • Hottest Month: August (85 degrees Fahrenheit/29 degrees Celsius)
  • Coldest Month: January (46 degrees Fahrenheit/8 degrees Celsius)
  • Wettest Month: July (10.2) inches
  • Windiest Month: April (8 mph)

Typhoon Season in Busan

Keep in mind that in addition to being extremely humid, June through September is also typhoon season, with elevated rainfall and a chance of heavy storms.

Spring in Busan

March to May is considered one of the most picturesque times to visit Busan. Not only are temperatures fairly mild, but the city’s vast population of cherry trees produce delicate pink blossoms, and the mountains surrounding the city erupt into vertical green carpets.

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

What to pack: Busan’s weather can change rapidly 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 many shops, vendors, and even convenience stores in Busan sell inexpensive weather-related items such as earmuffs, gloves, and umbrellas.

Average Temperatures by Month

March: 56 F (13 C) / 39 F (4 C)

April: 65 F (18 C) / 49 F (9 C)

May: 71 F (22 C) / 57 F (14 C)

Summer

Summer is Busan’s most popular season when the sunny days and lifeguards on duty mean thousands of beach umbrellas are pulled out of storage and placed on the city’s white sands. But summer also means high humidity, rainfall, and thunderstorms from June through September are also a possibility 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 low-lying areas.

August is the hottest summer month. If you’re not soaking up the sun on the beach, you may want to seek refuge in one of Busan’s many air-conditioned malls, coffee shops, or movie theaters.

What to pack: Busan summers are sweltering and sticky, so think pale colors and lightweight fabrics. It’s considered impolite for ladies to wear spaghetti straps or show cleavage when not poolside or on the beach. However, short shorts and skirts are common. 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: 76 F (24 C) / 64 F (18 C)

July: 82 F (28 C) / 71 F (22 C)

August: 85 F (29 C) / 74 F (23 C)

Fall

Generally, by mid to late October, mornings and evenings become cooler, and the leaves begin turning to jewel-toned shades of orange, red, and gold. Humidity and rain dissipate, leaving air that feels refreshing after the long humid days of summer.

Wooly sweaters and windbreakers typically emerge as crisp weather hits by mid-November, though skies usually remain blue and sun-filled. In short, autumn is an ideal time to explore Busan’s many lively neighborhoods or shopping districts, leaf peep during a hike on one of the surrounding mountain trails, or meander the grounds of the city’s serene, colorful Buddhist temples.

What to pack: As with spring, fall in Busan is a time of major transition. Early autumn is still hot and humid, and late autumn can range from mild to frigid. Layering is always a wise choice, but be sure to take a sweater or coat with you by the time November arrives. Other than the tail end of the monsoon season in September, fall is mostly dry.

Average Temperatures by Month

September: 79 F (26 C) / 66 F (19 C)

October: 72 F (22 C) / 56 F (13 C)

November: 61 F (16 C) / 44 F (7 C)

Winter

Winter days are often clear and sunny despite the frosty temperatures, though it does rain sporadically. Snow in Busan is infrequent due to its southeastern location along the East Sea, though keep an eye out for the wind-chill factor when the Siberian winds start blowing a gale.

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, cozy shoes, and socks, and top it all off with a warm, heavy coat.

Average Temperatures by Month

December: 50 F (10 C) / 33 F (1 C)

January: 46 F (8 C) / 29 F (-2 C)

February: 49 F (9 C) / 32 F (0 C)

Average Monthly Temperature, Rainfall, and Daylight Hours

   Avg. Temp.  Rainfall  Daylight Hours
January 38 F 1.6 in. 10 hours
February 41 F 1.8 in. 10.5 hours
March 48 F 3.3 in. 11.5 hours
April 57 F 5.3 in. 13 hours
May 64 F 6.1 in. 14 hours
June 70 F 8.9 in. 14.5 hours
July 77 F 10.2 in. 14.5 hours
August 80 F 9.4 in 13 hours
September 73 F 6.5 in. 13 hours
October 64 F 2.4 in. 12 hours
November 53 F 2.4 in. 10.5 hours
December 42 F 1 in. 10 hours
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