Adelaide is on track to smash its November temperature record as the state swelters amid catastrophic bushfire conditions.
The city was forecast to have a top of 42C on Wednesday, just below the November record of 42.7 set in 1962.
But by 11am the mercury had already soared close to 40C at the Bureau of Meteorology’s Kentown observatory.
At Parafield, in the city’s northern suburbs, the temperature reached 42.2C.
In the regions conditions were even hotter, with Cummins on Eyre Peninsula posting 42.9C before midday.
The scorcher across SA, coupled with high winds, has Country Fire Service crews on standby after catastrophic conditions were declared in seven districts.
The only major incident on Wednesday morning was a fire at Lenswood in the Adelaide Hills, which was quickly brought under control.
Because of the high fire danger across SA, more than 100 schools have been closed along with a string of national parks and reserves.
CFS assistant chief officer Brenton Eden said emergency services would spend the day on high alert.
“We don’t take seven catastrophic fire danger warnings lightly – that is as bad as it gets,” he said.
“That means when a fire starts it’s not possible for us to control it, so it places the community at great risk.”
The CFS had 11 fixed-wing aircraft available for firefighting, including one from NSW, but windy conditions might prevent them from flying.
The high winds also prompted a warning from health authorities about raised dust.
Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier said people with pre-existing chest or heart conditions should stay indoors, avoid exposure to dust and to follow their personal management plans.
“High levels of dust can aggravate conditions such as asthma, emphysema, bronchitis and other respiratory diseases,” she said.
“We also know that high levels of dust can be associated with an increased risk of cardiac events such as heart attacks.”
A cool change is expected to sweep across the state early on Thursday morning, bringing milder conditions, with temperatures for most centres dropping to the mid-20s.