Hot and gusty northerly winds and low humidity are providing the necessary ingredients for elevated fire dangers across South Australia’s west.
Strong northerly winds are drawing hot, dry air from central and northwestern Australia. Tarcoola, Minnipa, Wudinna and Port Augusta have already felt these hot northerly winds gusting over 50 km/h. Temperatures have climbed above 30 degrees and humidity has dropped below 15%. These combined ingredients have led to a severe fire danger rating, with some areas experiencing their highest fire danger rating since summer.
A weak low and trough crossing over western and central parts of SA are filtering this hot air over the state. However, the system is quite dry, only producing very light and isolated showers on the west coast, providing little relief. Strong, but cooler south to southwesterly winds will follow in the wake of this system later this week, causing fire danger to drop.
Tomorrow, the low will have moved into far eastern parts of the state, while a high pressure ridge builds over SA in its wake. This will allow winds to turn more southerly and ease, reducing the fire danger risk.
This is the time of the year when fire danger does occasionally reach the severe category or higher and we can expect more of the same from next weekend, most likely early the following week, when winds turn warm, dry northerly again.