THE Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) this morning, Thursday, May 10, issued a severe weather warning for most of the state, including West and South Gippsland.

At 9.54am, BOM released this statement:

Weather Situation:

A multi-centred low pressure complex forming near Tasmania today is expected to intensify as it moves just east of Bass Strait during Friday. The low will then gradually move eastwards across the Tasman Sea later Saturday and during Sunday.

DAMAGING WINDS, averaging 60 to 70 km/h with peak gusts of 90 to 100 km/h are likely to develop near the far southwest coast this afternoon and evening, then gradually translate eastwards during Friday to affect the Central and North Central districts and later Gippsland and Alpine areas with peak gusts in the Alps around 120km/h.

The Bureau of Meteorology issued a severe weather warning at 9.54am on Thursday, May 10 with this map, showing the warning area in yellow.

These damaging winds are likely to ease from the west later Friday, contracting to East Gippsland and also Alpine areas Friday night.

HEAVY RAIN which may lead to FLASH FLOODING is expected to develop during Friday morning over the in the warning area east of Stawell, initially over western and central areas but later extending to Gippsland and the Alpine areas. The heavy rain is expected to contract eastwards later Friday and is likely to be confined to East Gippsland on Saturday.

Rainfall totals of 50 to 100mm are expected across parts of the Central Ranges during Friday and early Saturday.

Totals of 50 to 100mm are also expected across the Gippsland Ranges during Friday afternoon and Saturday, with isolated higher falls of 125 to 150mm.

Locations which may be affected include Warrnambool, Seymour, Maryborough, Ballarat, Geelong, Melbourne, Traralgon and Bairnsdale.

The State Emergency Service advises that people should:
* Move vehicles under cover or away from trees;
* Secure or put away loose items around your house, yard and balcony;
* Keep clear of fallen power lines;
* Don’t walk, ride or drive through flood water;
* Keep clear of creeks and storm drains;
* Be aware that in fire affected areas, rainfall run-off into waterways may contain debris such as ash, soil, trees and rocks;
* Be alert that in areas recently affected by fires, heavy rainfall increases the potential for landslides and debris across roads;

The next Severe Weather Warning will be issued by 5:00 pm AEST Thursday.

Warnings are also available through TV and Radio broadcasts, the Bureau’s website at www.bom.gov.au or call 1300 659 217. The Bureau and State Emergency Service would appreciate warnings being broadcast regularly.