Victoria is set for a day of wild winds across the state, blizzards in alpine areas and possible flooding in Melbourne, the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) has warned.
The BOM has issued a severe weather warning for damaging winds and blizzards for people in the North Central, North East, South West, Central, West and South Gippsland and East Gippsland forecast districts.
A low pressure system coming from Tasmania will bring damaging winds of 50 to 70 kilometres per hour, with peak gusts of 90 to 100kph, weather bureau senior forecaster Terry Ryan said.
“It’s a very quick-moving change and there is a fair bit of wind around it,” Mr Ryan said
“Showers should start developing in southern Victoria and they should get over the ranges too.
“We’re expecting showers all through the state and by tonight there will be snow down to 600 metres, and possible hail and thunder developing later in the afternoon in the south moving through Melbourne tonight.”
That snow should fall over much of the Dandenong Ranges, the Yarra Ranges and hills around Melbourne.
Rivers and creeks in the Melbourne metropolitan area could also flood in coming days.
The State Emergency Service has warned people to move vehicles under cover and away from trees, secure and store loose items, and stay clear of fallen powerlines.
A sheep graziers’ warning is in place for the same regions, as well as the Wimmera district.
A flood watch has been issued for the Greater Melbourne catchment, which includes the Yarra, Maribyrnong, Werribee and Bunyip rivers, the Dandenong Creek, and their tributaries.
Recent rain has brought the eastern portion of the catchment to near-saturation point – and up to 50 millimetres of rain could fall in parts of the Melbourne area by Wednesday night.
Minor flooding is expected from late Tuesday.
Mr Ryan said the wind change was expected to come about 10:00am on Tuesday, and the cold weather would persist until the weekend.
“There will be more showers around tomorrow – showers and local hail tomorrow – cold day tomorrow, six to 12 degrees,” he said.
“Then improving for the weekend, just a shower or two around Thursday and Friday, becoming sunny on Saturday.
Victoria’s alpine areas already received snowfalls last week, almost a month before the season is due to open, with Falls Creek and Mt Hotham reporting around 10-15cm for the week.