Goulburn Murray residents are being warned to be prepared for possible flash flooding over the next 48 hours.
There is a severe weather warning for the northern country, the north-east and north central forecast districts, as well as a flood watch for the Upper Murray, Mitta Mitta, Kiewa, Ovens and King, Goulburn and Broken catchments.
The weather bureau says severe thunderstorms are likely to produce heavy downpours in areas including Shepparton, Wodonga, Wangaratta and Bright.
The State Emergency Service north-east regional manager, Keith O'Brien, says people should secure loose items in yards and gardens.
He says there are also concerns about bushfire affected trees.
"Some of the damage is the trees were burnt in previous events and these ones have just added to the risk associated with it which is part of the reason the Great Alpine Road is closed," he said.
"It is a challenging time with the weather but we are asking the public listen to our warnings and to keep aware of the risks in their area."
© ABC 2013
11:39 EDT El Nino is one extreme of the El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomena, in which La Nina is its counterpart.