Two injured as trees come down in strong windsThursday March 21, 2013 - 15:51 EDT
Two people have been injured as strong winds and storms lash the state.
One person was trapped in Kew when a tree came down on their car around 8:30am (AEDT).
Another person suffered minor injuries after a tree hit their car at Kilmore, north of Melbourne.
The winds have also brought down a number of trees at Healesville, Upper Yarra and Nunawading.
The State Emergency Service (SES) has responded to close to 170 calls for help.
Duty forecaster Stuart Coombs says the winds will strengthen throughout the morning.
"These sorts of winds are likely to be sufficient to dislodge tree branches, move garden furniture around, that sort of thing," he said.
"The highest gusts so far around the state 120 kilometres per hour at Mount Buller."
The peak gusts in Melbourne have been over 80 kilometres per hour.
"The maximum so far 89 kilometres an hour at Fawkner Beacon and Tullamarine 87 kilometres an hour," he said.
One runway at Melbourne Airport has been closed because of the high winds.
Brad Dalgleish of the SES, says one of the main problems is downed trees.
"We have also seen a number of calls where we have had trees down on buildings and down in people's front and backyards," he said.
The Country Fire Authority (CFA) has deployed fire trucks to the Otway Ranges, in south-western Victoria, as a precaution.
A band of is expected to hit the towns of Colac, Lorne, Simpson and Torquay in the next few hours, with wind gusts of up to 120kph and hail.
The weather bureau has issued a severe thunderstorm warning for strong winds and hail in the Mallee, Wimmera and South West districts.
There is also a severe weather warning for damaging winds of up to 110 kilometres per hour in elevated areas in the North Central, South West, North East, Central, West and South Gippsland and East Gippsland forecast districts.
© ABC 2013
More breaking news
This year is set to be the hottest on record, due to a strong El Nino season and global warming, the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) says.
'Weather nerd' and social media celebrity joins Victoria's list of unsung Bureau of Meteorology heroes
Jono Ingram might refer to himself as a 'weather nerd', but to Donald locals in western Victoria, he is an online celebrity.
A strong front is bringing damaging winds, with rain and snow to follow.