Source: Bureau of Meteorology

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

Issued at 10:46 am Wednesday, 19 January 2022.

Damaging wind gusts about central, and southern ranges today and into Thursday morning.

Weather Situation: A high pressure system south of the Bight will strengthen and move eastward over Tasmania today. This will lead to a strengthening pressure gradient and gusty winds over southern Victoria.

Strong easterly winds averaging 50 to 60km/hr with DAMAGING WIND GUSTS of around 90 km/hr are possible over the Otway Ranges, developing later today and continuing overnight tonight into Thursday morning. Winds are forecast to ease during Thursday morning.

Strong easterly winds averaging 50 to 60 km/hr with DAMAGING WIND GUSTS of around 90 km/hr are possible over the Yarra, Dandenong and Strzelecki Ranges, and Baw Baw Plateau, continuing during today and overnight tonight into Thursday morning. Winds are forecast to ease during Thursday morning.

Locations which may be affected include Apollo Bay, Warragul, Moe and Mt Baw Baw.

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.