Wild winds to batter southeast Australia
People have been urged to stay indoors with damaging and vigorous winds predicted to batter the Australia's southeast over the next 24 hours.
A severe weather warning for heavy rain and damaging winds has been issued for large parts of Victoria and southeast New South Wales for gusts of more than 120km/h.
In Victoria, the weather bureau has warned large downpours could lead to flash flooding in the state's central and northeast regions with six-hour rainfall totals of up to 40mm possible on Thursday morning.
The heaviest falls overnight in the past 24 hours were recorded at Mt Buffalo in the northeast which saw 64mm, Warrnambool with 56mm and Port Fairy with 46mm.
Melbourne recorded falls of 5.4mm in the CBD overnight but Hampton Park in the city's southeast had 21mm and Hoppers Crossing in the west saw 18mm.
Check out the low pressure system responsible for the heavy rain & thunderstorms expected today & Thursday! Winds will strengthen tomorrow as the low moves into Bass Strait. Check warnings at https://t.co/Ps52BoDfOt & follow advice from @vicemergency & @vicsesnews! #VicWeather pic.twitter.com/7750EuiL9x— Bureau of Meteorology, Victoria (@BOM_Vic) October 7, 2020
Damaging winds averaging 50 to 70km/h with peak gusts of up to 100km/h have been forecast to move eastwards across the state throughout Thursday and persisting along the Bass Coast on Friday.
Thunderstorms are also possible until late Thursday morning.
Locations likely to be affected include Warrnambool, Shepparton, Seymour, Ballarat, Geelong and Wangaratta.
Gusts of 111km/h have already been recorded at Mt Hotham in the early hours of Thursday morning, with Falls Creek also seeing winds of 94km/h and Wilsons Promontory 91km/h.
Victoria's State Emergency Service said volunteers had received 43 requests for assistance, mostly in the southwest of the state at Warrnambool and Port Fairy.
A spokeswoman said 19 were for trees down and 14 were for flooding.
In NSW, vigorous winds have been forecast in the Snowy Mountains, south coast and Southern Tablelands until mid-evening on Thursday.
In areas above 1900m gusts of more than 120km/h were expected throughout the day, while below 1900m winds could reach 90km/h.
Locations likely to be affected include Braidwood, Cooma, Bombala, Thredbo, Adaminaby and Nimmitabel.
The weather bureau said the winds were expected to gradually ease during Thursday evening as the front moves away to the northeast.
The SES has urged people to stay indoors and away from windows and if out to avoid floodwater.
Loose items such as outdoor settings, umbrellas and trampolines should be safely secured and vehicles under cover or away from trees.
Weather bureau duty forecaster Christie Johnson said the rain band had mostly cleared Melbourne by 8.30am on Thursday and was sitting over the eastern ranges, with the falls easing to showers and possible thunderstorms for the rest of the day.
But she said another low could intensify over southwest Victoria later on Thursday with another 10 to 20mm possible.
Ms Johnson said there had already been some storms around Lake Eildon, alpine areas and the east coast.
She said the low would move into Bass Strait overnight and she expect there to be no severe weather warnings in Victoria by Friday.
"By the weekend we're back to some showers in the south as a weak front comes through," Ms Johnson said.
Originally published as Wild winds to batter southeast Australia