Melbourne has been buffeted with strong winds. File image: AAP Image/Julian Smith
Melbourne has been buffeted with strong winds. File image: AAP Image/Julian Smith

Damaging gales batter Victoria ahead of miserable weekend

VICTORIANS are urged to beware as a severe weather warning for destructive winds has been issued across the state.

Extreme gusts could bring down trees or branches and are set to whip up dust from dry areas in the north, which may settle across Melbourne.

The State Emergency Service advises Victorians to keep clear of fallen power lines, to move cars under cover or away from trees and to secure loose items around the house, yard or balcony.

This morning’s sunrise over Melbourne. Picture: Nicole Garmston
This morning’s sunrise over Melbourne. Picture: Nicole Garmston

Winds between 90 to 100kmh are set to reach Melbourne between 10am and 3pm as a cold front passes through.

Alpine areas will be the hardest hit by gusts that could exceed 125kmh.

"It's enough to do some damage to trees," Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Rod Dickson said.

He said dust in the north of the state may also be raised by gusts, and could travel south with northerly winds through the day and settle across the city.

At Melbourne Airport, wind gusts have already reached up 90kmh this morning while Mount William in the Grampians has been hit by 111kmh winds.

A mild and sunny spring day will reach a top of 19C in Melbourne and end with rain developing later tonight.

And temperatures in the Mallee will soar into the low to mid-20s today, with the mercury set to hit a top of 24C in Mildura.

Between five to 15mm of rain is expected overnight.