Wild winds, snow on the way: Live radar

PICTURES: July's weather in focus

NEWS: Tasmanian storms: Falling tree kills person | PHOTOS, RADAR

UPDATE 5PM: SES regional duty officer Peter Patterson has confirmed the service had received 81 calls for help across the region.

He said there had been 21 call outs in Bendigo.

He said a majority of the call outs had related to fallen trees but one had involved metal sheeting being torn off a carport by high winds.

UPDATE 4.05pm: The cloud cover has come in, now all that's left is the front and the showers.

Coming from the north west, Hopetoun experienced winds of 92 kilometres per hour, while Charlton just recorded a top speed of 80 kmph.

Bureau of Meteorology duty forecaster Dean Stewart said the wind front should pass over Bendigo before 5pm.

He said the strongest winds would be just after the front, with rainfall to follow about an hour afterwards.

"We expect Bendigo to receive about five millimeters of rain until midnight tonight," he said.

"The rain should then hold off until midday tomorrow."

EARLIER: The State Emergency Service says strong winds are on their way, and it has already began answering calls for assistance.

Regional duty officer Peter Patterson said the SES had received requests for help from Gisborne through to Bendigo. 

Mr Patterson said the problems were "mainly trees down across roads or trees down across properties".

He said some iron roofing had peeled off a roof in McColl Street, Bendigo and was flapping around in the breeze. 

"Our crew have gone out to secure that," he said.

He said, so far, calls for assistance were the typical kind on windy days.

He said a more serious event would be a large tree falling across a major road, but that had not happened yet in Bendigo or surrounding areas.

"We tend to prioritise the jobs and deal with most serious ones first," he said.

The Bureau of Meterology has said strong winds this afternoon will follow into the evening.

Duty forecaster Gary Missen said winds in Bendigo and surrounding areas would reach 45 to 55 kilometres per hour about 3 or 4pm this afternoon.

He said there was a chance of snow in the Macedon Ranges overnight and tomorrow. 

He also said there was a chance of hail tomorrow morning in Bendigo and showers throughout the day. 

He said temperatures overnight would drop to 2 degrees.

Snap any great weather pics? We'd love to see them. Share them with us and they may make it into the paper. Email ashley.fritsch@fairfaxmedia.com.au or share them with us on Facebook or tag @BgoAddy on twitter.

EARLIER: A severe weather warning has been issued for most of the state, with damaging winds and snow predicted to hit Victoria today.

Winds of about 60km/h with peak gusts of 100km/h are forecast for the Mallee, Wimmera, north central, south west and central forecast districts and parts of the northern country forecast district, possibly reaching 110km/h in elevated areas and about the coasts. To see which forecast district you are in, click here.

"A strong cold front will enter the southwest of the state this morning and then move across central Victoria during the afternoon and eastern areas in the evening, while a deep complex low pressure system passes south of Tasmania," the Bureau of Meteorology reports.

"A band of rain and strong to gale force north to northwesterly winds will contract east across the state ahead of the change, followed by much colder and squally westerly winds. Hail and snow down to 500 metres is likely tonight after the cold change."

Melbourne will face a whirlwind of weather extremes, with high winds expected to blast commuters on their way to work and icy rain to drench them on their way home. 

Bureau of Meteorology duty forecaster Michael Efron said damaging gusts of up to 110km/h would hit Melbourne about 8am and last throughout the morning. 

He said the mercury would then drop dramatically for a cold and wet afternoon. 

“It’s quite mild this morning, with temperatures up around 17 degrees, but by late afternoon the temperature will drop to eight or nine degrees,” he said. 

“With the cold winds, it could feel like zero or one degrees.”

Mr Efron said rain would clear later on Thursday evening, giving way to snowfall as low as 500 metres above sea level. 

“That gives the potential for quite a good dumping of snow across the Dandenongs and the Macedon Ranges and across to Ballarat and across the Otways,” he said. 

Friday would bring the chance of thunderstorms and hail in Melbourne, Mr Efron said.  

Cold temperatures are expected to continue through the weekend, but winds are forecast to be light on Saturday and Sunday.

The State Emergency Service has warned residents to secure loose outdoor items, to stay indoors and away from windows, not to park under trees, to be prepared for blackouts and to keep away from fallen trees and power lines.

For emergency help in floods and storms, ring your local SES Unit on 132 500.

Snap any great weather pics? We'd love to see them. Share them with us and they may make it into the paper. Email ashley.fritsch@fairfaxmedia.com.au or share them with us on Facebook or tag @BgoAddy on twitter.

-with The Age

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