Severe storms and blizzard conditions have lashed Victoria, as a cold front crossed the state on the first day out of lockdown.
Victorians in at least 6000 homes woke without power after a night of wild winds that kept emergency crews busy responding to more than 400 calls for help.
Destructive gusts are expected to continue throughout Wednesday.
Senior forecaster Matthew Thomas said the blustery conditions will ramp up, with “squally” westerly winds across the state.
He said the severe weather warning will be extended to metropolitan Melbourne as wild winds are expected to move through the city on Wednesday afternoon.
On Wednesday morning, people in Central, South West, Northern Country, North Central, West and South Gippsland, Wimmera and parts of East Gippsland, Mallee and North East Forecast Districts were warned of damaging winds.
The front and an associated squally wind change will cross Victoria during the day, according to the Bureau.
Damaging northerly winds averaging 50 to 70 kilometres per hour, with peak gusts of 90 to 100 kilometres per hour, are expected across elevated parts of Victoria throughout the day.
The State Emergency Service advises people to be aware of potential hazards caused by severe weather. Hazards include damaged buildings, fallen trees, road closures, fallen powerlines and blizzard conditions.
“We’re urging Victorians to seriously consider the need to travel as this cold front passes through the state,” State Agency Commander Alistair Drayton said.
Severe thunderstorms and hail could also hit southern and northern parts of Victoria and the Wimmera.
– with AAP