Source: Bureau of Meteorology

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

Issued at 10:37 am Friday, 24 September 2021.

West to northwesterly winds strengthening today.

Weather Situation: West to northwesterly winds strengthening ahead of a cold front moving across Victoria today.

DAMAGING WEST TO NORTHWESTERLY WINDS, averaging 60 to 70 km/h with peak gusts of around 90 km/h are possible about exposed coast and ranges in the southwest from late Friday morning, extending to West and South Gippsland, the Bass Coast, and the northeast alpine peaks during the afternoon.

Thunderstorms are forecast about eastern warning areas, and may be gusty at times during the afternoon.

Wind gusts are expected to ease below 90 km/h about the southwest on Friday afternoon and about remaining areas during Friday evening.

Locations which may be affected include Warrnambool, Wonthaggi, Mt Baw Baw, Falls Creek, Mt Hotham and Omeo.

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.