“Damaging winds, averaging 60 to 70 km/h with peak gusts of 90 to 100 km/h are expected to develop in overnight and Thursday morning,” a Bureau of Meteorology statement read. “Elevated areas above 300 metres within the warning area are considered most likely to experience the damaging gusts, but they are possible elsewhere within the warning area.
“Alpine areas (above 1200 metres) in the east of the state could see peak gusts of 110-120km/h early Thursday afternoon.
“Winds are expected to ease over the south-west late morning and over the Melbourne area by mid-afternoon and eastern areas overnight.”
Warrnambool, Maryborough, Ballarat, Geelong, Melbourne and Bacchus Marsh were mentioned expressly in the warning.
A marine wind warning for strong winds has also been issued for Port Phillip bay for the rest of Wednesday and all of Thursday.
The State Emergency Service said people should tie down anything at risk of flying away and causing damage, and urged people to take caution when out and about.
Melbourne’s forecast is for a minimum of 15 degrees on Thursday and a high of 21 degrees. There is a 20 per cent chance of afternoon rain, but only less than one millimetre in total.
The city has had its wettest start to the year in almost a century, with nearly 410 millimetres of rain falling from New Year’s Day to May 1.
Temperatures also went close to breaking quarter-century old records.
Melbourne’s maximum on Friday was 13 degrees. The coldest start to May on record was 12.2 degrees in 1962.