Days of storms and heavy rain are on their way for Victoria, bringing the risk of potentially deadly “thunderstorm asthma” conditions.
A high to moderate risk of epidemic thunderstorm asthma has been forecast for western and central Victoria on Wednesday as a high pollen count combines with potentially severe thunderstorms and strong winds.
The looming dangerous weather – which came as Adelaide had its hottest day in 10 months on Tuesday – has prompted warnings from the weather bureau and Ambulance Victoria.
Strong northerly winds will increase during the early hours of Wednesday morning ahead of a cold front that will move across Victoria during Wednesday afternoon and evening.,” the Bureau of Meteorology said.
“Severe thunderstorms with the potential for damaging wind gusts and heavy rain are possible outside the warning area as the cold front moves through western parts on Wednesday afternoon, and central parts during the evening.”
Damaging winds averaging 50-60km/h but with peak gusts of about 90km/h are possible in elevated areas of western Victoria from midnight on Tuesday, extending to central areas by Wednesday morning.
The storms are expected to carry hefty amounts of grass pollen, and are likely to cause many people to suffer asthma symptoms. The risk includes those who have diagnosed respiratory conditions, and those who do not.
In November 2016, there were 10 deaths in Victoria after a severe thunderstorm caused thousands of people to have sudden asthma attack. About 14,000 people were taken to hospital when the deadly storm hit, causing chaos in emergency departments and for the ambulance service.