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Sparks flying in SA as heat builds

Rob Sharpe, Thursday March 7, 2013 - 16:27 EDT

Thunderstorms are beginning to flare in South Australia while the heatwave lingers for another week.

Storms sparked up this afternoon primarily across the Eyre Peninsula and West Coast prompting a severe thunderstorm warning for damaging winds and heavy rain. Storms have also begun along the Yorke Peninsula and Kangaroo Island and are ready to begin further east, probably affecting Adelaide. Any severe storms are likely to be limited to the current warning area with damaging winds the most likely severe feature.

Adelaide notched up its hottest March day in five years, reaching 37 degrees. This statistic is likely to be beaten in coming days as the mercury is set to soar even higher early next week as the airmass heats up further. Adelaide is expecting third longest March run of heat in 127 years of records with twelve days above 30 degrees.

Tomorrow, thunderstorms are very likely to continue in the south with the West Coast and Eyre Peninsula in the firing line once again. Severe storms are on the cards with a significant risk of heavy rain leading to flash flooding. Falls of 20-40mm will be common across the Eyre Peninsula and eastern parts of the West Coast. Storms will gradually push further east on Friday and into Saturday with Adelaide and most of the southeast set to get hit by at least one more storm this week. Rainfall totals will generally be lower further east.

The reason for these storms is a low pressure trough which has deepened as it has moved into South Australia today. This trough will slowly move through the state over coming days, allowing heat to linger while providing significant uplift for thunderstorms.

The heat will linger over South Australia until around Wednesday next week when a strong front and trough will move across the state bringing a burst of cooler air and ending the near record run of heat.

- Weatherzone

© Weatherzone 2013

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