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Heavy rain and wind to strike Melbourne

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Heavy rain and thunderstorms will batter Melburnian commuters as wild weather moves across the state ahead of a cool change.

The Bureau of Meteorology says storms will soon sweep across Melbourne from Victoria’s west, with peak thunderstorm activity to hit the city between early and mid-afternoon on Friday.

A severe weather warning for damaging winds, heavy rainfall and flash flooding was updated at 12.30pm on Friday to include Melbourne, Frankston, Bacchus Marsh, Rosebud, Ballarat and Geelong.

“A cluster of strong storms continues to move eastward in a very humid environment and is expected to produce heavy rainfall and damaging winds. Isolated destructive wind gusts are possible,” the BOM alert said.

The storm will then move to the state’s east, with a cool change developing over the weekend after days of temperatures above 30 degrees.

However, the hot weather is set to return next week.

“For central parts, including Melbourne, we’re likely to have a bit of reprieve from this weather with cooler conditions for Saturday,” BOM meteorologist Mark Anolak said.

“But, as we move through the weekend and into the early part of next week, the hot and humid conditions will return to Victoria.”

Almost 10,000 Victorians remained without power on Friday afternoon, after storms ripped through the state on Thursday and into the night.

There are 2577 AusNet, 7134 Powercor and 106 Jemena customers affected by blackouts as of 12.45pm on Friday.

Geelong, Cape Otway and the Surf Coast were battered by heavy rain on Thursday night, with 40-70 millimetres in the Geelong area.

State Emergency Service volunteers have received more than 650 calls for help in the past 24 hours, as homes, buildings and roads were flooded.

The wild weather came as disaster assistance was announced for Ballarat, East Gippsland, Moorabool and south-west Victorian residents after floods and storms on January 5.

The communities will receive financial support via the Commonwealth-State Disaster Recovery Funding.

-AAP

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