The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) has issued a severe thunderstorm warning for damaging winds, large hailstones and heavy rainfall across parts of Victoria, including the Latrobe Valley.
The advice, issued at 2.43pm, today states the warning is for people in West and South Gippsland and parts of Central, Northern Country, North Central and North East Forecast Districts.
The BOM said fast-moving severe thunderstorms are expected to develop along a trough approaching from the west.
This area of storm development is expected to move eastwards into the afternoon and evening.
Severe thunderstorms are likely to produce damaging winds, large hailstones and heavy rainfall that may lead to flash flooding in the warning area over the next several hours.
Locations which may be affected include Moe, Traralgon, Sale, Shepparton, Seymour and Wangaratta.
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.