Cyclonic winds lash Victoria

Wild winds across Victoria have been as strong as a category three tropical cyclone, the Bureau of Metereology says.

The uninhabited Hogan Island, about 50 kilometres off Wilsons Promontory, was battered by a 169km/h wind gust during a thunder storm at 10.11am today.

The Prom was also hit with ferocious winds reaching 146km/h at 2.30pm, with the highest blasts in the Melbourne area recorded at Point Wilson and Avalon.

Bureau duty forecaster Dean Sgarbossa said gusts of up to 80km/h had been felt in the city, reaching 100km/h in elevated areas. Most winds are between 40 and 60km/h.

‘‘We are going to see stronger winds until about sunset,’’ Mr Sgarbossa said.

‘‘After that winds are likely to be around the 30-40km/h mark.’’

A severe weather warning for the city is likely to be cancelled about 4pm.

Scattered showers will continue to plague the city before tending to the eastern and south-eastern suburbs. The showers will eventually move to the far south-eastern suburbs about 6pm.

VicRoads said the Omeo Highway, between Mitta Mitta and Glen Wills, had been closed due to snow on the road and fallen debris.

Detours are in place because of localised blizzard conditions. VicRoads warned that all unnecessary travel should be avoided until the weather had passed.

Wilsons Promontory accommodation provider Kate Fooke said she had not heard of any major damage in the area.

‘‘There’s lots of trees down over the road, which is nothing spectacular,’’ she said.

‘‘Nothing that’s blocking traffic though.’’

SES spokesman Lachlan Quick said there had been 230 calls in the past 24 hours, mainly to attend to fallen trees.

He said most of the calls were for the Gippsland area, but bayside areas such as Frankston and areas as far north as Ballarat had been hit by unforgiving winds.