DAMAGING winds, large hailstones and heavy rainfall are expected to hit Ballarat on Saturday afternoon.
The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a severe weather warning for Western Victoria as a thunderstorm approaches from South Australia.
The severe thunderstorm warning was issued at 1.30pm on Saturday.
"Severe thunderstorms are likely to produce damaging winds, large hailstones and heavy rainfall that may lead to flash flooding in the warning area over the next several hours," it says.
"Locations which may be affected include Horsham, Stawell, Hamilton, Ballarat, Maryborough and Castlemaine."
At 2pm the temperature remained at 36.6 degrees.
Winds are expected to reach up to 55km/h blowing north to northwesterly before shifting southerly to 20 to 25 km/h in the evening then becoming light in the late evening.
Residents in the South West, Wimmera and parts of the Central, Mallee, Northern Country and North Central forecast districts should remain alert.
The SES has provided the following advice for residents:
- Keep clear of fallen power lines.
- Secure any loose objects in the vicinity of your home.
- Keep away from creeks and drains.
- Do not drive vehicles through flooded areas.
- Stay indoors if possible.
- Avoid using the phone during the storm.
- If you are outside, avoid sheltering under trees
- Listen to the radio for storm updates
- Switch off your computer and electrical appliances
The next warning is due to be issued by 4.30pm.
To keep updated, visit www.bom.gov.au or call 1300 659 217.