Source: Bureau of Meteorology

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

Issued at 4:45 am Friday, 17 September 2021.

STRONG NORTHERLY WINDS DEVELOPING FRIDAY

Weather Situation: Northerly winds will strengthen today ahead of a cold front, which is expected to reach western Victoria this evening before crossing the State overnight into Saturday morning.

DAMAGING NORTHERLY WINDS, averaging 60 to 70 km/h with peak gusts of 90 to 100 km/h, are expected to develop about elevated terrain in the west of the warning area Friday morning, extending eastwards over the central ranges by late morning and over the eastern ranges by late afternoon.

Localised DAMAGING WIND GUSTS to 90 km/h are also possible in the warning area away from elevated terrain about the South West district from mid morning to early afternoon and about the Central district, including the outer northern suburbs of Melbourne and the Dandenongs, from late morning to early evening.

Winds are expected to ease from the west following the front, with the risk of damaging winds contracting to the eastern ranges later tonight and clearing by sunrise Saturday morning.

Locations which may be affected include Mount William, Hamilton, Warrnambool, Portland, Ballarat, Bacchus Marsh, the Dandenong Ranges, Mt Baw Baw, Mt Buller, Mt Hotham and Falls Creek.

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.