2 Jan 2014

Australia bakes in heatwave

11:48 am on 2 January 2014

Parts of Australia have started the New Year in sweltering conditions, with temperatures near 50° C in South Australia, with a heatwave predicted for Queensland.

Australia's Weather Bureau says the mercury at Tarcoola in central South Australia hit 48.9° on Wednesday afternoon, while other areas also peaked in the high 40s.

The fire danger rating in South Australia reached catastrophic level, with gale force winds from former Tropical Cyclone Christine also creating challenging conditions.