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Victoria weather: Residents urged to prepare for severe windstorm, polar blast

By Freya Michie, Thursday August 8, 2019 - 19:38 EST

Victoria's emergency services are warning people to prepare for freezing conditions in the south of the state, with wind gusts reaching up to 130 kilometres per hour in the south-west.

State Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp said an earlier wind warning had been upgraded, with gusts in the state's south-west now forecast to reach up to 130kph later this evening.

Winds gusts of up to 110kph will hit Geelong and Melbourne between midnight and about 8:00am on Friday.

"The severe weather is really going to ramp up tonight," Mr Crisp said.

"It is going to get an awful lot colder."

He said people needed to prepare for the severe weather and high winds by not parking under trees, and by securing garden and balcony furniture.

"It is going to have an impact, it is going to cause damage."

Bureau of Meteorology state manager Andrew Tupper said a low-pressure system would be coming through Bass Strait later this evening.

"We already have a sub-Antarctic vortex bring a lot of cold air and severe weather, snow and blizzard conditions," Dr Tupper said.

He warned Melburnians of the potential for wind damage.

"We're not used to getting those gusts very often in Melbourne, so it's going to have an impact and we need to pay attention to that."

He also warned the wave of severe weather would cause higher tides as winds pushed water onshore.

State Emergency Service (SES) chief officer Tim Wiebusch cautioned people to watch for debris on the roads and be aware of the potential for falling trees to bring down powerlines.

Mr Wiebusch said residents in Elwood in Melbourne's south should be aware of the risk of a storm surge in the Elwood canal.

Boon for skiers

Victoria's ski resorts, which have been experiencing lacklustre snowfalls so far this season, are forecasting the winter storm will bring welcome snow to bolster low base levels.

Snow had been expected to fall to low levels on Friday.

Mr Crisp said snow was forecast to fall in the Dandenongs, Mount Macedon and possibly the Grampians.

The conditions are expected to ease in Melbourne during Friday, but blizzards were forecast to continue in mountain areas throughout the day.


© ABC 2019

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