South Australia was a state of two seasons on Thursday with areas of the north sweltering while the south shivered through unseasonably cool conditions.
Moomba in the far north baked with 49.3C, not much short of the hottest temperature ever recorded in Australia, 50.7C in Oodnadatta on this day in 1960.
Other towns that sweltered included Marree with 48.1C, Oodnadatta with 47C, Roxby Downs with 45.8C and Leigh Creek with 45.7.
— Magdalena Roze (@Magdalena_Roze) January 2, 2014
Areas of the north were hit by strong winds, as the remains of Tropical Cyclone Christine tracked across the state.
But in the south conditions were more than 30 degrees cooler.
Kuitpo Forest, in the Adelaide Hills, had just 14.5C and Parndana on Kangaroo Island had 15.7C.
Adelaide reached 22.7C by lunchtime.
The weather bureau forecast conditions to moderate across the north on Friday with temperatures to fall to the mid to low 30s in most places, although Moomba was expected to hit 40C before a drop to 32C on Saturday.
The south will remain cool to mild on Friday with Adelaide tipped to have a top temperature of 23C.
The hot conditions prompted the State Emergency Service to remind people travelling through areas in the state’s north to either postpone trips or take precautions.
“If travel can’t be rescheduled, as a minimum they should take additional water supplies and let someone know of their intentions,” duty officer Darryl Wright said.
“If people do happen to break down or become stranded, they should remain with their vehicle, source shade where possible, refrain from excessive physical activity and keep hydrated until assistance arrives.”