Adelaide has fallen just short of setting a November temperature record as South Australia sweltered through a day of scorching temperatures and dangerous bushfires.
Late on Wednesday after the Country Fire Service continued to fight a number of fires across the state, with emergency warning messages in place for some centres.
The hot dry northerly winds that fanned the flames also sent temperatures in some regional towns soaring.
Nullarbor and Ceduna, on SA's west coast, were the hottest with tops of 46.6C and 46.2C respectively while Port Augusta had 45.1C and Renmark 45C.
Nullarbor's maximum was a November record, but it wasn't alone with a string of other towns posting their hottest temperatures for this time of the year.
Among those were Keith (44.3C), Clare (40.8), Strathalbyn (43.1C), Hindmarsh Island (40.7C), Murray Bridge (44C) and Stenhouse Bay (40.1C).
In Adelaide, the mercury peaked at 42.2C at the Bureau of Meteorology's Kent Town observatory and 41.6C at its official West Terrace headquarters.
Both were just shy of the record 42.7C recorded at Kent Town in 1962.
The hottest spot across the Adelaide suburbs was Edinburgh with 44.5C.
The heat was not expected to last with the weather bureau forecasting a cool change to sweep across the state by early on Thursday morning.
Temperatures were expected to drop back to the low 20s with Adelaide's maximum tipped to fall by half to just 21C.
That change also prompted the bureau to also put a severe weather warning in place for potentially damaging winds across a wide area including most of York and Eyre Peninsulas and the Adelaide Hills.
It said wind gusts of up to 90km/h were possible as the front moved through.
The unusually hot conditions on Wednesday prompted authorities to close more than 100 schools along with most national parks and reserves.
On the lower Eyre Peninsula, SA Power Networks also decided to cut power to more than 10,000 properties as a safety precaution.
By late afternoon, most of those properties remained offline with the company warning of the prospect of extended outages.
In Port Lincoln, the local council opened an arts centre to provide a refuge from the heat and also urged people to seek out commercial venues with generators such as hotels or restaurants.
The heat and high winds also prompted a warning from health authorities about raised dust and other issues.
Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier said people with pre-existing chest or heart conditions should stay indoors, avoid exposure to the conditions and to follow their personal management plans.
Australian Associated Press