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Gusty change brings relief to SA's north after temperatures peaked at 49.3C

Friday January 3, 2014 - 08:47 EDT

Gusty winds have brought cooler weather to South Australia's outback after the temperature soared to 49.3 degrees Celsius at Moomba yesterday.

The passage of former Tropical Cyclone Christine has left strong south-westerly winds and showers in its wake after pushing across the state's north.

The weak low is now over northern New South Wales but is expected to avoid southern Queensland, and the weather bureau says the system can now be barely seen on satellite images.

The temperature reached 47.2C at Marree and 48C at Oodnadatta in catastrophic fire conditions as a hot air mass remained stationary over central Australia.

The extreme weather came just a day before the

Senior forecaster Matt Collopy says wind gusts got up to about 70 kilometres an hour.

"Not particularly strong, but certainly winds across the interior that you don't normally get this time of year," he said.

"The west to south-westerly winds that have followed up behind the cyclone are a lot cooler and have displaced that extremely hot air mass."

Nik Ludborzs from the Country Fire Service says while crews are relieved after seeing through the day without major incident, there is no room for complacency.

"There still is an abundance of growth out there that will burn especially through the Flinders Ranges," he said.

"With the winter rains that we had we have a greater abundance of dry grassland fuels they're now 100 per cent cured and they don't take much to burn at all.

"We'll have bursts of weather like this right through probably until March, April so people still need to be vigilant and aware that we have a heightened risk this year."

Severe fire danger ratings have been issued for the state's North East and North West Pastoral districts today.


- ABC

© ABC 2014

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