Bitter cold temps move in bringing freeze, frostbite danger - FOX Carolina 21

Bitter cold temps move in bringing freeze, frostbite danger

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GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

While the temperatures have warmed some, Tuesday's record-breaking temperatures have kept the area well below freezing.

With wind chills ranging from minus 20 to minus 30 degrees in parts of the mountains and down to minus 10 for the Upstate earlier in the day, there was a heightened risk for frostbite area-wide. Be sure to protect any exposed skin, and stay indoors as much as you can through the day Tuesday.

On Tuesday night temperatures will be about 20 degrees below the normal for this time of year. Winds will not be as big of an issue on Tuesday night, so we shouldn't be dealing with -20 degree wind chills again.

This cold air is truly rare. The last time the area saw temperatures comparable to Tuesday morning was 1994.

FOX Carolina meteorologist Nicole Papay said Tuesday's morning temperatures broke records for Jan. 7 that are more than 100 years old. Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport reported a temperature of 8 degrees about 5 a.m., which broke the 9-degree record set in 1904.

The temperature was zero degrees about 5 a.m. in Asheville, breaking the 3-degree record in 1879.

The temperatures will start to slowly warm up Tuesday, and Wednesday they will be back to highs in the 30s and 40s, then 50s by late in the week.

But because the temperatures will not warm above freezing until Wednesday, many across the area were able to capture some unique frozen moments, like ice bubbles and frozen fountains.

Because of the dangerously low temps, people are reminded to stay warm and out of the cold for longer periods of time. They are also urged to use caution when heating their home to prevent injury, fire or health issues. Below are tips from the Greenville Fire Department to help keep you safe and warm:

Keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet away from heating equipment such as a furnace, fireplace, wood stove or portable space heater

  • Have a 3-foot "kid-free zone" around open fires and space heaters
  • Never use your oven to heat your home
  • Remember to turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed
  • Always use the right kind of fuel, specified by the manufacturer, for fuel burning space heaters
  • Take any fuel-powered equipment outside your home before attempting to refuel
  • Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to stop sparks from flying into the room
  • Make sure ashes are cool before putting them in a metal container and keep the container a safe distance away from your home

Drivers should also be careful when warming up their engine to not leave the vehicle running in an enclosed garage that is not ventilated.

FOX Carolina has compiled a list of resources, from emergency warming shelters to tips to keep your house and car protected amidst the cold weather:

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