Victoria to be hit with storms on Easter Monday

Flash flooding could hit Melbourne late on Easter Monday as thunderstorms rumble across from Victoria’s west, dispelling smoke haze that has smothered the city for days.

The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a severe weather warning for heavy rainfall and damaging winds for much of central Victoria.

Weather bureau meteorologist Stephanie Miles said a strengthening cold front would trigger thunderstorms in western Victoria from Monday morning.

In Stawell, wild weather temporarily halted the prestigious running carnival with the men’s and women’s gift finals still to be run. Tokyo Olympic star Peter Bol almost pulled off a remarkable comeback to win the 1000-metre race amid the driving rain.

Miles said, in the afternoon, the heaviest rainfall would be concentrated in western areas like Ballarat and the Otways before shifting to Geelong and Melbourne in the evening. Overnight, the storms will pass over the city and deliver downpours to the Eastern Ranges.

“Flash flooding is definitely a possibility with this heavy rainfall,” she said. “However, we’re not really expecting any riverine flooding with this one.”

Bendigo, Seymour, Maryborough, Ballarat, Geelong and Melbourne are among the communities in the warning zone that extends from close to Stawell in the west to Falls Creek in the east.

“Six-hourly rainfall totals between 30 and 50 millimetres are likely, with isolated falls of 70 millimetres possible,” the weather bureau alert reads.

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