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Freeze spells the end of area's growing season

Steve Seno, left, and Troy Proudfit apply a fresh paint to the sign in front of the Federal Courthouse Building on Tuesday afternoon. The building is getting washed and painted by a crew from JPR Painting and should be finished in about 90 days.
Steve Seno, left, and Troy Proudfit apply a fresh paint to the sign in front of the Federal Courthouse Building on Tuesday afternoon. The building is getting washed and painted by a crew from JPR Painting and should be finished in about 90 days. JONATHAN DYER | The Beaufort Gazette

The first widespread freeze of winter hit Tuesday morning in the southern coastal region of South Carolina, officially ending the growing season for the area, said Doug Berry, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Charleston.

Berry said this season's first freeze was a little later than usual due to an increase in cloud cover and rain systems that have kept temperatures in the region a bit warmer than usual.

The low temperature Monday night was 33 degrees in Beaufort, 30 degrees in Savannah, 33 degrees in Charleston and 36 degrees on Hilton Head Island, Berry said.

Frost and freeze advisories will not be issued again until the spring.

"We usually anticipate people won't start growing crops until spring," he said.

Overnight lows Tuesday night along the coast were expected to be in the low 30s. Temperatures were expected to hover around freezing in areas 15 to 20 miles inland and counties farther inland had temperatures in the mid-20s.

Berry said a warming trend at the front end of a storm system will continue through the next couple of days until Saturday when temperatures are expected to drop into the upper 40s. There is a 60 percent chance of rain Thursday.

High temperatures in the region on New Year's Eve should reach 60 degrees and will be in the upper 50s Friday, he said.

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