Heavy winds and rain to batter Victoria overnight

Victoria is bracing for a night of wild weather with damaging winds of 100km/h or more and heavy rainfall forecast for parts of the state.

The Bureau of Meteorology has issued warnings for damaging winds, floods and marine winds for much of the state plus blizzard conditions on the alpine peaks with the storms predicted to be at their worse about 1am on Thursday.

The central and eastern parts of Melbourne face winds averaging 50 to 60 km/h with peak gusts of 100km/h while parts of the central, north-central and north-east districts have also received a warning for heavy rainfall with Melbourne, Bendigo, Seymour, Maryborough, Ballarat, Geelong and Traralgon listed in the rainfall message.

Gippsland is expected to face some of the worst conditions with damaging winds averaging 60 to 70km/h predicted for the southern Gippsland coast along with Port Philip, the Gippsland Ranges and the Central Ranges with peak gusts of 110 km/h.

A heavy rainfall warning has also been issued for west and south Gippsland.

“This event is not just about the rainfall leading to flooding. It has a significant wind component,” BoM senior meteorologist Kevin Parkin told Channel Nine.

The BoM has also issued flood warnings for a number of rivers including initial major flood warnings for the Avon, Macalister and Thomson Rivers along with initial minor warnings for the Bunyip River, Dandenong Creek, Werribee River, Goulburn River, Latrobe River, Traralgon Creek and Yarra River.

The SES has warned drivers to be aware roads and highways could be closed if flooding hits especially the Princes Highway at Sale and Stratford.

Authorities have also reiterated that residents who are under COVID-19 lockdowns are allowed to leave their homes due to flooding or storm damage.

A Melbourne man did see rare sight on Wednesday morning, tweeting a video of a small ‘flurry’ of snow falling near Aurora Melbourne Central in the city.

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