Victoria weather: weekend thunderstorms and strong winds forecast | Australia weather

Thunderstorms and strong winds are expected to lash Victoria on Saturday, with authorities urging residents to rethink their outdoor plans.

Rain and damaging north to north-westerly winds with peak gusts up to 110km/h are forecast to hit most of Victoria, including Melbourne and major regional centres.

“Tragically [this] year we saw three people killed due to falling trees and branches and that’s something we definitely wish to avoid again,” the State Emergency Service deputy chief officer, Alistair Drayton, said on Friday.

He said it was atypical weather for early December and urged Victorians to think about their environment.

“Don’t pitch tents,” Drayton said.

He cautioned those setting up outdoor dining areas to secure umbrellas and outdoor furniture, saying they could become airborne and dangerous.

The SES also wants people to move to safe areas if outside, and steer clear of powerlines, flood water, debris and fallen trees.

The Bureau of Meteorology’s Diana Eadie said the severe weather was forecast to develop in the state’s west and sweep eastwards through the day.

She said there would be a moderate risk of thunderstorm asthma.

Strong winds in the state’s west would also mean there would be severe fire danger in the Wimmera and Mallee areas.

“Sunday is going to feel like a strong change with a burst of much colder air,” Eadie said.

Temperatures will continue to drop on Monday, which could result in snow for alpine areas, she said.

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