Source: Bureau of Meteorology

For people in Central, West and South Gippsland and parts of East Gippsland, Mallee, Northern Country, North Central and Wimmera Forecast Districts.

Issued at 2:40 pm Friday, 28 January 2022.

Severe thunderstorms are producing heavy rainfall and damaging winds.

Weather Situation: Severe thunderstorms are forming in a very humid environment and are expected to produce very heavy to locally intense rainfall and damaging winds.

Severe thunderstorms are likely to produce intense rainfall that may lead to dangerous and life-threatening flash flooding, damaging winds and large hailstones in the warning area over the next several hours. Locations which may be affected include Bendigo, Maryborough, Ballarat, Geelong, Melbourne, Traralgon and Bairnsdale.

Severe thunderstorms are no longer occurring in the South West district and the warning for this district is CANCELLED.

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.