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South Korea’s weather agency only 46 percent accurate for rain forecasts

South Korea’s state weather agency did a poor job of forecasting rain in the last five years, getting it right just 46 percent of the time, a state audit watchdog said Tuesday. 

Photo: Yonhap
Photo: Yonhap

According to a report from the Board of Audit and Inspection, the Korea Meteorological Administration forecast rain 5,193 times from 2012 to 2015, but it actually fell on 3,228 of those occasions.

On the contrary, rain fell 1,808 times when the agency predicted otherwise, putting the overall accuracy rate at 46 percent.

The accuracy rate fell 2.5 percent point to 45.2 percent last year from 47.7 percent in 2012, the report shows.

The audit watchdog also pointed out in the report that the KMA took 26.7 seconds on average to issue quake alerts in three different events last year, while a neighboring Japan took 7.2 seconds on average.

The BAI blamed the poor quality of predictions partly on the agency’s failure to set up a system to extract data from the country’s meteorological satellite Chollian-1 for weather forecasts, an essential process to enhance accuracy, according to the audit report.

The agency spent a total of 119.2 billion won ($104 million) to increase its forecast accuracy over the past five years. Part of the money was spent on its fourth super computer, worth about 57 billion won, in 2014 to better analyze the satellite data.

By Bak Se-hwan (