The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a severe thunderstorm warning for heavy rainfall and large hailstones across an area including the Latrobe Valley.
Released at 2.28pm today, the warning is for people in Central, Mallee, South West, North Central, West and South Gippsland, Wimmera and parts of East Gippsland, Northern Country and North East Forecast Districts.
The BOM said severe thunderstorms are likely to produce heavy rainfall that may lead to flash flooding and large hailstones in the warning area over the next several hours.
Locations which may be affected include Mildura, Horsham, Warrnambool, Bendigo, Maryborough, Ballarat, Geelong, Melbourne and Traralgon.
The bureau said this weather event is due to a very humid and unstable airstream across the state with a slow moving low pressure trough in the west.
The State Emergency Service advises that people should:
* Be aware that in fire affected areas, rainfall run-off into waterways may contain debris such as ash, soil, trees and rocks.
* Be alert that in areas recently affected by fires, heavy rainfall increases the potential for landslides and debris across roads.
* 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 warning is due to be issued by 5.30pm.