Hold on to your hats — the wild and windy weather is about to kick it up a notch.
Peak gusts of up to 120km/h are expected to hit metropolitan Melbourne before nightfall with a gale warning issued for all coastal districts as well as across the north-east of the state.
Elevated and exposed coastal areas will bear the brunt of the damaging winds, which tested the SES overnight with more than 100 calls for assistance, with the vast majority – 86 – coming from the metropolitan area.
Melbourne residents have been urged to batten down the hatches with south-westerly peak bursts expected of up to 120km/h – easily strong enough to uproot trees already loosened by two weeks of windy weather.
The Royal Botanic Gardens was closed on Monday due to severe weather – the second time in a week.
A Gardens spokeswoman said this was due to a new policy that dictated the closure of the grounds whenever winds exceeded 80 km/h.
A high pressure system moving slowly across the Tasman and a vigorous north to north-westerly flow is responsible for the intensifying cold front that is crossing western Victoria into the central districts.
According to the Bureau of Meteorology, damaging winds averaging 50-60 km/h with peak gusts of 90-100 km/h (reaching up to 110km/h over elevated areas) are forecast for parts of the south-west, central, north-east, west, and South Gippsland and East Gippsland districts.
Peak wind gusts are likely to increase around Melbourne to 120-130 km/h on Monday evening in exposed and elevated areas, with thunderstorms also forecast.
Wind gusts recorded on Monday morning include 104km/h at Mount Buller and 96 km/h at Mount William.
The State Emergency Service advises that people should:Move vehicles under cover or away from trees.Secure or store loose items around the house, yard and balcony.Keep clear of fallen power lines.For emergency help in floods and storms, ring your local SES Unit on 132 500.
Though this week’s weather may leave Melburnians reaching for the woollens, new Bureau of Metereology data showed that Melbourne’s average maximum high temperature in September was 20.1 degrees, marking the first time the entry in the record books has risen above 20 degrees for the month.
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