Source: Bureau of Meteorology

For people in Central, South West, North Central, Wimmera and parts of East Gippsland, Mallee, Northern Country, North East and West and South Gippsland Forecast Districts.

Issued at 11:08 am Tuesday, 21 January 2020.

Strong and gusty winds ahead of and with a strong cold front Wednesday

Weather Situation: A strong cold front will approach Victoria from the west Wednesday, reaching the southwest during the afternoon and crossing to the east by Thursday morning. Strengthening Northerly winds shifting squally west to southwesterly with the front.

DAMAGING WINDS, averaging 40 to 60 km/h with peak gusts of around 90 km/h are forecast to develop over western and central areas of the State Wednesday morning, more likely over elevated areas. The risk extends to eastern elevated areas later Wednesday afternoon and evening.

DAMAGING WINDS, averaging 50 to 70km/h with squalls to 90km/h are possible over inland western areas and along the west and central coastal fringe following the front.

Winds are expected to moderate within an hour or two following the front.

Damaging winds are also possible with thunderstorms near and ahead of the cold front.

Locations which may be affected include Horsham, Warrnambool, Seymour, Maryborough, Ballarat, Geelong and Melbourne.

Be aware that trees that have been damaged by heat or fire may be unstable and more likely to fall when it is windy or wet

The State Emergency Service advises that people should:
* Check that loose items such as outdoor settings, umbrellas and trampolines are safely secured and move vehicles under cover or away from trees.
* Stay indoors and away from windows.
* If outdoors, move to a safe place indoors. Stay away from trees, drains, gutters, creeks and waterways.
* If driving conditions are dangerous, safely pull over away from trees, drains, low-lying areas and floodwater. Avoid travel if possible.
* Stay safe by avoiding dangerous hazards, such as floodwater, mud, debris, damaged roads and fallen trees.
* Stay away from fallen powerlines always assume they are live.
* Stay informed monitor weather warnings, forecasts and river levels at the Bureau of Meteorology website, and warnings through VicEmergency.