Thunderstorms, rain and damaging winds have lashed Victoria today, with more to come over the next few hours as a deep low and trough sweep across the state.
The most noticeable feature has been the wild winds, with many places seeing gusts in excess of 90km/h, strong enough to bring down trees and powerlines. The highest wind gusts have been seen about the ranges, with Mount Buller reaching 115km/h and Mount William 104km/h. However, damaging winds have also battered many low-lying parts of the state, including Melbourne.
The city has seen northerly winds average 40-60km/h since early this morning, with gusts reaching 90-100km/h during the morning and afternoon. Fawkner Beacon on the north side of the Bay reached 109km/h just before 3pm, its strongest wind gust since 2008.
Fast-moving thunderstorms are also sweeping over central parts of the state, including Melbourne. Further damaging winds are possible in any thunderstorms, as well as the risk for large hailstones.
Thankfully, the wild weather has not been all bad news for the parched state, with substantial rain falling over parts of VIC. The heaviest falls have been focused over the northeast, with some places seeing their heaviest falls in months.
Mount Buffalo in the VIC Alps has picked up 78mm since midnight, the heaviest rain since June. Rutherglen in the North East has seen 24mm since 10pm last night, which is the town's heaviest fall since October.
Parts of the south also picked up some handy falls, with Main Ridge near the Mornington Peninsula registering 16mm to 9am today, its heaviest rain since September.
Over the next few hours, the focus of the rain will be over the northeast of the state, with a further 30-40mm possible over the VIC alps. In the south, showers and thunderstorms may contribute further falls, although totals are likely to be light.
Wind, rain and storms should ease rapidly from this evening as the system moves out of the state. A few showers may linger about the southern coasts during Friday, however the rest of the state can look forward to a mostly sunny and mild day with much lighter winds.
© Weatherzone 2013
18:15 EDT An Australian Urban Search and Rescue taskforce has returned from Vanuatu after a 10-day operation to repair schools and hospitals in Port Vila after Cyclone Pam.