A SEVERE weather warning has been issued for Ararat and areas south of Stawell for damaging winds.
A cold front over the Bight will reach the far southwest on Wednesday afternoon, central districts at night then cross eastern Victoria early on Thursday.
Locations that might be affected include Ararat, Kyneton, Ballarat, Daylesford, Mt Buller, Mt Hotham and Falls Creek.
Strong to gale force northerly winds are expected ahead of the front and will then shift westerly and moderate following the change.
Wind gusts of up to 96km/h have been recorded at Mount William on Wednesday.
Damaging winds, averaging 50 to 60 kilometres an hour with peak gusts of about 100 km/h are expected to develop about western parts of the warning area this morning, extending into central areas during the late morning then contracting to eastern districts during the evening.
Winds are expected to increase further about the Alpine region on Wednesday night, with damaging winds averaging 60 to 75 km/h with peak gusts of around 120 km/h likely.
Winds are expected to ease following the passage of the front, with the risk of damaging winds clearing the western parts of the warning area during the afternoon and eastern parts of the warning area in the early hours of Thursday morning.
The State Emergency Service has advised people should:
- Move vehicles under cover or away from trees
- Secure or put away loose items around your house, yard and balcony
- Keep clear of fallen power lines