SA’s flood warning downgrades as fire weather warning and fire bans declared

SA was warned yesterday of wild weather and heavy rain to come. This has now been downgraded and very hazardous fire weather conditions are predicted.

South Australians were warned yesterday of wild weather and heavy rain to come, but we have today been warned that this has been downgraded for Adelaide and very hazardous fire weather conditions are now predicted.

The CFS have declared Total Fire Bans for today, January 20. These are in the districts of Lower Eyre Peninsula (Severe), Mount Lofty Ranges (Severe), and Lower South East (Severe).

The fire bans have been in place from midnight last night until midnight tonight.

Adelaide is now set to avoid the heavy rain fallout that was expected as remnants of Tropical Cyclone Tiffany near the Queensland and Northern Territory border wreck havoc on the southern and eastern states. 

BOM Meteorologist Hannah Marsh said Adelaide is expecting hot weather today and tomorrow, with 35 degrees and is looking at warm nights too.

“Conditions will start to become humid over the weekend with the chance of seeing a spot or two later on Saturday, with Sunday being the wettest of the days,” Hannah said.

“The peak of the rainfall will remain to the north of Adelaide, with up to 15mm expected currently for Adelaide. There is the potential for thunderstorms from Sunday, which could result in localised heavier falls.”

Meanwhile for the whole of SA, other areas will still be lashed with some parts of the state to see upwards of 100mm in what has been described as a ‘tropical deluge’. 

“The weather in SA has been dominated by a high pressure system, now southwest of Tasmania which will continue to move east,” Hannah said.

“The resultant weather will shift from hot conditions, with severe fire danger for the Lower Eyre Peninsula and Mount Lofty Ranges today, and for the Lower South East today and tomorrow, towards an unstable period of showers and possibly thunderstorms.

“The showers and possible storms are expected to develop mainly about the western Eyre Peninsula and the North West Pastoral district today, intensifying tomorrow, with the potential of heavy falls in those areas.

“This will extend to include the remainder of Eyre Peninsula, the North East Pastoral and Flinders districts on Saturday and will continue to move slowly east.

“The heavy falls are most likely on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with the potential for 50-120mm over the 4 day period (to midnight Monday).

“A flood watch has been issued for this event, which currently includes parts of the Flinders Ranges, West Coast, Eyre Peninsula and the pastoral districts. A severe weather warning for heavy rainfall is likely to be issued this afternoon, with the possibility of severe thunderstorm warnings throughout the event.”

Hannah said the rain should hopefully offset the potential fire starts.

“We are expecting significant rainfall with the storms, opposed to the dry lightning events we have seen recently, so fire starts, due to this event are unlikely.”

The CFS recommends that you implement your Bushfire Survival Plan to stay safe. Where fire ban districts have a forecast fire danger rating of Severe, well prepared and actively defended houses can offer safety during a fire.

CFS recommends if you don’t have a plan to ensure your survival, leaving early before a fire starts is your safest option.

In making your plan, CFS states that you should be aware that in high fire danger conditions, essential services including mains-fed electricity and water supply may not be available due to the prevailing weather conditions.

Landowners are asked to adhere to local harvest codes of practice which are available from your local council.

Landowners are also asked to ensure that any burn-off activities conducted today are fully extinguished before midnight tonight.

Agencies are advised to activate their Total Fire Ban procedures in preparation for these predicted fire weather conditions.

Stay up to date with wild weather warnings issued by BOM here.

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