Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Spring in Korea is really Yellow Dust Season

When I ask my students what their favorite season is, none of them say spring.

At home, spring is the season when the weather starts getting warmer, the birds are chirping, and you can finally play outside again!

But in Korea, spring is also referred to by many as yellow dust season. According to google:
"Yellow dust is a seasonal meteorological phenomenon which affects much of East Asia sporadically during the springtime months. The dust originates in the deserts of Mongolia, northern China andKazakhstan where high-speed surface winds and intense dust storms kick up dense clouds of fine, dry soil particles. These clouds are then carried eastward by prevailing winds and pass over China, North and South Korea, and Japan, as well as parts of the Russian Far East. "
Unfortunately, on the way over from China, yellow dust has a nasty habit of picking up industrial pollutants such as carbon monoxide, sulphur,  heavy metals, carcinogens, and even viruses.

When yellow dust warnings are issued for Korea, we are advised to avoid strenuous outdoor activity, wear masks, and shake our clothes when we come inside.

The only difference I have noticed is I have had a reoccurring stuffy nose for the past few weeks, and sometimes my eyes feel irritated. Hopefully 'yellow dust' season is over soon!

No comments:

Post a Comment