A severe weather warning has been issued by the Bureau of Meteorology for damaging northerly winds on Friday across the south-west.
The bureau says northerly winds will strengthen on Friday ahead of a cold front, which is expected to reach western Victoria on Friday evening and cross the state overnight into Saturday morning.
Damaging northerly winds, averaging 60 to 70 km/h with peak gusts of 90 to 100 km/h, are expected to develop about the higher elevations in the west of the warning area on Friday morning, extending eastwards over central parts of Victoria during the afternoon and the east during the evening.
Local damaging wind gusts of around 90 km/h are also possible across the south-west for a few hours between sunrise Friday and late Friday morning.
Winds are expected to ease from the west following the front, with the risk of damaging winds contracting to the eastern ranges late Friday, clearing by sunrise Saturday morning.
Locations which may be affected include Warrnambool, Portland, Hamilton, Mount William, Ballarat, Bacchus Marsh and Falls Creek.
The State Emergency Service advises that people should:
- 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.
- Be aware - heat, fire or recent storms may make trees unstable and more likely to fall when it's windy or wet.
- Check that loose items, such as outdoor settings, umbrellas and trampolines are safely secured. 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.
- Stay away from fallen powerlines - always assume they are live.
- Be aware that in fire affected areas, rainfall run-off into waterways may contain debris such as ash, soil, trees and rocks. Heavy rainfall may also increase the potential for landslides and debris across roads.
- Stay informed: Monitor weather warnings, forecasts and river levels at the Bureau of Meteorology website, and warnings through VicEmergency website/app/hotline.
The forecast for Friday across the south-west is for a partly cloudy day with a very high (90 per cent) chance of showers, most likely from the late morning.
There's the chance of a thunderstorm from the late morning, with gusty winds in the late morning and afternoon.
Warrnambool is expecting a top of 22 degrees and between three and six millimetres of rain.
On Saturday, the top is expected to be 16 degrees, with a 90 per cent chance of showers and between 2-4mm of rain.
Sunday, is more of the same - with a top of 17, 90 per cent chance of showers and between 6-10mm of rain.
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