Severe thunderstorm warning issued

Gregor Mactaggart

A severe thunderstorm warning for an area including the Latrobe Valley was issued by the Bureau of Meteorology today.

The warning for damaging winds in West and South Gippsland, and parts of East Gippsland, Northern Country, North Central and North East Forecast Districts was issued at 4.17pm.

Gusty thunderstorms are expected ahead of a trough.

Severe thunderstorms are likely to produce damaging winds in the warning area over the next several hours with Moe, Morwell and Traralgon among the major locations which may be affected.

The wild weather has already made an impact with trees down in Newborough, Morwell and Hazelwood North during the past 30 minutes.

The State Emergency Service advises that people should:

* 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.

A warm morning provided an early pointer as the mercury reached 38.1 degrees at 1.30pm, 0.5 of a degree shy of the record for the hottest November day (38.6) set in 2009.

Rain arrived in Morwell about 4.30pm and brought with it a cool change, as the temperature dropped more than 10 degrees in little more than 30 minutes.