The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a severe weather warning for the coastal section of the south-west and other parts of central Victoria.
A strong cold front will reach far south-west on Wednesday evening.
The front will continue eastwards across the state, moving through the Melbourne area and Central districts by around midnight, and clearing the far east of Victoria late Thursday morning.
Northerly winds strengthening ahead of the front, squally west to north-westerly winds with the front, showers and isolated thunderstorms to follow.
Damaging northerly winds, averaging 40 to 60 km/h with peak gusts up to 100 km/h, are likely to develop from late Wednesday afternoon across western parts of the warning area, especially areas above 900 metres.
Local damaging west to north-westerly squalls to 90 km/h are possible with and following the front across the far south-west and southern coastal fringe, mainly associated with showers and thunderstorms.
Winds are expected to ease below warning threshold following the passage of the cold front across elevated areas, and within a few hours following the frontal passage away from the coast.
The risk of damaging squalls with showers or thunderstorms remains along the coastal fringe up to six hours following the front.
Locations which may be affected include Warrnambool, Portland, the Grampians, elevated areas around Kyneton and Daylesford, Wonthaggi, Mount Buller, Falls Creek. Mount Hotham and Mount Baw Baw.
The State Emergency Service advises that people should:
- Be aware that trees that have been damaged by heat or fire may be unstable and more likely to fall when it is windy or wet.
- Check that loose items such as outdoor settings, umbrellas and trampolines are safely secured and move vehicles under cover or away from trees.
- Stay indoors and away from windows.
- If outdoors, move to a safe place indoors. Stay away from trees, drains, gutters, creeks and waterways.
- If driving conditions are dangerous, safely pull over away from trees, drains, low-lying areas and floodwater. Avoid travel if possible.
- Stay safe by avoiding dangerous hazards, such as floodwater, mud, debris, damaged roads and fallen trees.
- Stay away from fallen powerlines always assume they are live.
- Stay informed monitor weather warnings, forecasts and river levels at the Bureau of Meteorology website, and warnings through VicEmergency.
The next severe weather warning update will be issued by 5pm.
Warrnambool is tipped to get rain during the next six days - Thursday we're expecting a top of 12 degrees, Friday just 11, Saturday 13, Sunday 13 and Monday a slightly improved 14.
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