THE Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) is predicting another wintry blast to move through the state during the day today and further into the week.
And it has already started to build up with the hollowing northerly wind hitting 65km/h at the usually calm backwater of Rhyll and gusting to 115km/h in the state’s Alpine areas.
“With a number of cold fronts to move through most parts of the state Tuesday night into Wednesday, the Victoria State Emergency Service (VICSES) is asking Victorians remain vigilant, and be safe as volunteers are once again preparing and planning for the increase in severe weather conditions and community impacts,” according to a statement issued by the State Emergency Service.
It follows more heavy weather last weekend with local SES and shire crews fielding dozens of calls.
“We had a total of nine callouts over the course of the weekend in response to the strong winds,” said a spokesperson for the South Gippsland Shire.
“The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a severe weather warning for damaging winds in parts of eastern, central and western ranges, with gusts of 90km/h-100km/h, extending to the Otways and parts of greater Melbourne late Tuesday afternoon, then to most remaining southern districts overnight and tomorrow morning,” the SES said.
“Our Victorian alpine peaks above 1500m, may potentially see locally destructive winds overnight with gusts to 125km/h possible. Blizzard conditions are likely late on Tuesday and Wednesday at the Alpine resorts.
“The area of damaging winds will include greater Melbourne on Wednesday, with a squally westerly change bringing gusts of 90km/h to 100km/h expected to move over the Metropolitan area during the evening.
“The current forecast also indicates elevated sea levels, to affect all Victorian coastal areas on Wednesday, with very high seas and long period swell to affect parts of the coast between the South Australian border and Cape Otway on Wednesday and Thursday.
“Minor flooding is occurring along the Barwon River, and also some north-eastern rivers including the Ovens River at Wangaratta. Rainfall totals over coming days will be modest, but minor flooding is likely to continue in the northeast and the Yarra catchment.”
As the Victorian lockdown eases, VICSES is asking communities to avoid areas that have been recently affected by storms, and to follow current Chief Health Officer directions as restrictions ease, and the forecast of wet and windy weather will add to the already significant risk of trees falling without warning.
“Ensure you consider your need to travel and watch out for dangerous trees as recent wet and windy weather may have destabilised trees or branches, making them more likely to fall.”
Ensure to download the VicEmergency app for warning and advice messaging, and check the VicTraffic mobile app or website before travelling for updates on road closures, hazards and to consider alternative journeys.
Call 132 500 for emergency assistance from VICSES.
State Agency Commander, Alistair Drayton, warned Victorians to be wary of the expected wind change on Wednesday.
“With such windy conditions and powerful waves forecast, this message goes to people planning on being near the ocean’s edge, too,” he said, especially beach and rock fishermen.
“Please keep up to date with relevant emergency information by visiting the VicEmergency website, or by downloading the VicEmergency app. And ensure to call 132 500 for any VICSES assistance required.”
BoM Senior Forecaster Matthew Thomas: “The squally westerly change will move through the Melbourne area between 2pm and 4pm on Wednesday. So while we’re all thrilled to see our kids back at school, please take care during the school pickup run.”
“Download the BoMWeather app for the latest warnings, observations and hourly forecasts, personalised for your location.”