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Scorching temperatures for first day of SA lockdown

Anthony Sharwood, Thursday November 19, 2020 - 11:37 EDT

South Australia's first day of lockdown due to a coronavirus outbreak will be accompanied by soaring temperatures and blustery winds in the eastern half of the state.

The lockdown began at midnight last night, with only essential services remaining open - including supermarkets, bottle shops, banks, medical and mental health services, petrol stations, and childcare and schools for families of essential workers.

Only one person per household is allowed to leave home each day, and then only for specific purposes such as to go shopping or to perform essential work. The restrictions are in force for six days and you can read a complete rundown of them here.

Beaches and pools are among the public facilities which are closed, which is a tough break for Adelaide locals on a day when the city is forecast to reach 36 degrees.

"On the bright side, it's too hot to take the dog for a walk," Adelaide journalist Tory Shepherd told Weatherzone. "But then I'm trying really hard not to think about going to the beach, because that's what I would have done on a day off."

The streets of Adelaide are quiet today, and Shepherd said most people are shuttered up in their houses with the air-conditioning running.

Early indications are that Adelaide's maximum temperature will very likely reach the forecast 36, with the mercury already well into the 30s by 10 am local time.

Unusually, several locations in the south of the state were hotter than areas in the north at 10 am. For example Hindmarsh Island at the mouth of the Murray River was 34 degrees at 10 am, while the normally much hotter town of Port Augusta, around 400 kilometres north, was sitting on 33.6 degrees.

As the 11 am synoptic chart shows, the western half of South Australia has cooled off under the influence of southerly winds while the eastern half is still being blasted by hot northerlies.

Fire danger is severe in places, with a total fire ban in place in all south-east districts of the state. You can find SA Country Fire Service live information here.

This will be by far Adelaide's hottest day of the planned six-day lockdown, with mostly dry conditions and cooler temperatures in the 20s and low 30s tipped for the rest of the week.

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