News State Victoria News Shepparton tornado warning a false alarm: BoM

Shepparton tornado warning a false alarm: BoM

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A tornado warning issued for parts of Victoria’s north proved to be a false alarm but a funnel did appear as a “nasty” storm moved over the state, the weather bureau says.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) warned Shepparton residents to stay indoors after it received reports of a tornado west of the town.

BoM senior forecaster Scott Williams told ABC Statewide Drive the radar showed enough rotation to be a tornado, which prompted authorities to issue the warning.

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“If it had in fact worsened and done a lot of damage in the town, it would have made us not look very good,” he said.

“Perhaps to some extent it’s a false alarm, but we’re not very practiced with warnings for tornados.”

Mr Williams said while the region had been hit by tornados before, this time it turned out to be a funnel.

“It’s the most common area in Victoria to actually see tornados,” he said.

The wild weather hit Melbourne earlier in the day bringing heavy rain and lightning, but the city escaped relatively unscathed.

The BoM issued warnings for the Central, Mallee, Northern Country, North Central, West and South Gippsland forecast districts.

It has since cancelled warnings for the Wimmera and South West districts.

Melbourne Airport said the storms had caused some delays to flights and passengers should check the latest schedules and flight information with their airlines.

Public transport services were also affected, with buses replacing trains on the Werribee and Hurstbridge metro lines and the V/Line service to Geelong.

The BoM said there were reports of hail damage to cars in the Colac area near Geelong and about 10-15 millimetres of rain had fallen in Melbourne’s northern suburbs.

Whiteheads Creek, in central Victoria, recorded 28mm.

The State Emergency Service (SES) said they received about 50 calls for help across the state, mostly due to fallen trees and minor damage.

Earlier, the SES advised people to keep clear of fallen power lines and secure any loose objects in the vicinity of their homes.

People were also advised to keep away from creeks and drains, avoid driving through flooded areas, stay indoors and avoid using the phone during the storm.

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