South Australia triggers Code Blue extreme weather response as thunderstorms and severe storms forecast

South Australia activates Code Blue in response to expected thunderstorms and severe weather, offering crucial support and shelter to homeless individuals. Authorities urge public to help vulnerable populations as extreme conditions approach.

South Australia is preparing for a spell of severe weather, leading the state government to activate a Code Blue extreme weather response. This initiative is in anticipation of thunderstorms, rain, and powerful winds expected to impact the region. Effective from 5pm today until 9am on Thursday, the Code Blue will be in effect for multiple regions including Adelaide Metro, Fleurieu Peninsula, Kangaroo Island, Upper Spencer Gulf, Lower Eyre Peninsula, and Copper Coast.

This emergency protocol is specifically designed to support and protect individuals experiencing homelessness during extreme weather conditions. Among the special measures implemented, the provision of emergency accommodation is crucial, ensuring that those without shelter can find safety against the harsh environmental conditions.

Homeless individuals or those at risk of homelessness are advised to contact Homeless Connect SA for support. This essential service is accessible by calling 1800 003 308 anytime, operating around the clock to offer help and immediate assistance year-round.

Minister for Human Services, Nat Cook, emphasised the importance of the Code Blue response. “These Code Blue responses help people experiencing homelessness who are most affected by extreme winter like weather to remain warm and safe,” she stated. She further urged, “I encourage rough sleepers, or anyone who knows a rough sleeper, to call Homeless Connect SA – these services are here to help.”

As the community braces for the impending weather, South Australians are also encouraged to help advocate for those who may struggle to seek help on their own.

Meteorological updates from the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) reveal that rainfall is on its way from Western Australia, with an intensifying low-pressure front moving towards SA. Senior forecaster Angus Hines commented on the developing weather pattern, noting that regions from the Eyre Peninsula to Adelaide and the south-east could see rainfall amounts ranging between 15 to 30mm. This could potentially lead to localised flash flooding in some areas.

“But by and large, it’s a good news story, with rain hitting parts of the country that do want rain, even if it comes in quite heavy for some,” Hines added.

This period of adverse weather also fits into an unusually prolonged cold stretch, particularly evident along the Eastern coast, which has recorded exceptionally low temperatures. “It’s quite a long time, actually,” Hines noted, referring to the continued cold conditions expected to last several days.

This welcome rainfall follows what was the eighth-driest April on record for the state, signalling a shift as the region moves closer towards the winter solstice. The solstice, which marks the shortest day of the year, occurs when the Earth tilts on its axis, distancing the Southern Hemisphere further from the sun, thus leading to shorter days and longer nights.

The BOM elaborates on the seasonal changes during the winter solstice, explaining that despite the peak of cold, the oceans’ high ‘heat capacity’ keeps the surroundings relatively warm for a longer duration, mitigating immediate drops in temperature post-solstice.

Residents and local authorities remain vigilant as these extreme weather conditions unfold, and are taking necessary steps to mitigate its impact on the most vulnerable populations.

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