A winter storm has battered South Australia, with gale force winds approaching 100 kilometres per hour.

Torrential rain also lashed the coastal fringes as an intense area of low pressure pushed through the Great Australian Bight.

Australia's Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) said the immediate threat of severe weather had passed, but the situation would continue to be monitored, while further warnings would be issued if necessary.

According to Weatherzone, the worst of the weather reached Adelaide on Saturday night, bringing down trees and power lines.

Crews on standby

Flood watches remain in place, and more heavy downpours are expected on Monday and Tuesday, with BoM warning there was a risk of rapidly rising water levels and flash flooding in creeks and watercourses.

State Emergency Services (SES) spokesman John Carr told the ABC broadcaster that SES crews "have been on standby since Friday and we are expecting to probably have a relatively quiet period during today [Sunday] but certainly we are expecting the weather to crank up again tonight and be busy overnight". 

The severe weather has been brought in on what is the strongest cold front of the year so far. The accompanying area of low pressure system is now on its way across Victoria and Tasmania.

Tasmania is likely to be buffeted by damaging winds over the next 48 hours, as heavy rain lashes the state.

Flood watches have been issued for the state's northern rivers and snow is also expected across many areas - even at lower levels.

Much of Australia will become noticeably cooler over the next few days as cold southerly winds feed up from Antarctica behind the area of low pressure.

Temperatures will struggle to reach 8C in Canberra on Wednesday, setting up a cold, crisp, but sunny end to the week.

Source: Al Jazeera