Source: Bureau of Meteorology

For people in parts of East Gippsland, North East and West and South Gippsland Forecast Districts.

Issued at 11:00 am Thursday, 31 March 2022.

Damaging wind gusts developing over eastern and central ranges later this evening.

Weather Situation: A strong high pressure system over the Great Australian Bight will combine with a deepening low pressure system over the Tasman Sea to increase the pressure gradient over eastern Victoria. Southeasterly winds across the ranges will strengthen overnight tonight before easing later on Friday morning as the low moves south.

Strong winds averaging 50 to 60 km/h with DAMAGING WIND GUSTS of around 90 km/h are likely over the eastern and central ranges this evening and overnight tonight.

Winds are forecast to ease below warning thresholds by late Friday morning.

Locations which may be affected include Falls Creek and Mt Hotham.

The State Emergency Service advises that people should:
* 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.
* Be aware - heat, fire or recent storms may make trees unstable and more likely to fall when it's windy or wet.
* Check that loose items, such as outdoor settings, umbrellas and trampolines are safely secured. 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.
* Stay away from fallen powerlines - always assume they are live.
* Be aware that in fire affected areas, rainfall run-off into waterways may contain debris such as ash, soil, trees and rocks. Heavy rainfall may also increase the potential for landslides and debris across roads.
* Stay informed: Monitor weather warnings, forecasts and river levels at the Bureau of Meteorology website, and warnings through VicEmergency website/app/hotline.

The next Severe Weather Warning will be issued by 5:00 pm AEDT Thursday.