Source: Bureau of Meteorology

For people in Wimmera and parts of Central, Mallee and South West Forecast Districts.

Issued at 5:00 pm Thursday, 27 January 2022.

Severe thunderstorms with damaging, locally destructive winds, large hail and heavy rainfall over western and central Victoria.

Weather Situation: A very moist and unstable airmass is in place across Victoria, ahead of a trough moving eastwards into the state. Winds in the upper atmosphere will strengthen during the day, further assisting in the development of severe thunderstorms.

Severe thunderstorms are likely to produce damaging, locally destructive winds and heavy rainfall that may lead to flash flooding over the next several hours in the Wimmera and parts of the Mallee and South West districts. Locations which may be affected include Walpeup, Horsham, Stawell, Warracknabeal, Hamilton and Ararat.

Severe thunderstorms are likely to produce damaging winds, large hailstones and heavy rainfall that may lead to flash flooding over the next several hours in parts of the Central and South West districts. Locations which may be affected include Colac, Apollo Bay, Geelong and Rosebud.

Severe thunderstorms are likely to produce damaging winds over the next several hours in parts of the Mallee district.

A 93km/h gust was observed at Edenhope at 3:59pm, followed by 25.6mm of rainfall being recorded in the following 30 minutes.

A gust of 139kmh was recorded at Horsham at 4:45pm

The State Emergency Service advises that people should:
* If driving conditions are dangerous, safely pull over away from trees, drains, low-lying areas and floodwater. Avoid travel if possible.
* Stay safe by avoiding dangerous hazards, such as floodwater, mud, debris, damaged roads and fallen trees.
* Be aware - heat, fire or recent storms may make trees unstable and more likely to fall when it's windy or wet.
* Check that loose items, such as outdoor settings, umbrellas and trampolines are safely secured. Move vehicles under cover or away from trees.
* Stay indoors and away from windows.
* If outdoors, move to a safe place indoors. Stay away from trees, drains, gutters, creeks and waterways.
* Stay away from fallen powerlines - always assume they are live.
* Be aware that in fire affected areas, rainfall run-off into waterways may contain debris such as ash, soil, trees and rocks. Heavy rainfall may also increase the potential for landslides and debris across roads.
* Stay informed: Monitor weather warnings, forecasts and river levels at the Bureau of Meteorology website, and warnings through VicEmergency website/app/hotline.