Vic alert for deadly thunderstorm asthma

Callum Godde
·1-min read

With wild weather on the way, Victorians have been warned of potentially deadly thunderstorm asthma conditions.

A moderate to high risk of epidemic thunderstorm asthma has been set down for parts of Victoria on Wednesday as severe storms sweep across the state, bringing damaging winds and patches of heavy rain.

The Mallee, Wimmera, South West and Northern Country regions are rated in the high-risk category, while moderate thunderstorm asthma conditions are forecast for Central, North Central and West and South Gippsland areas.

It comes as the Bureau of Meteorology issued a severe weather warning for damaging winds with peak gusts of about 90km/h over elevated areas in Victoria's west from midnight on Wednesday.

The winds are then predicted to extend to central areas by dawn on Wednesday morning.

Ararat, Kyneton, Ballarat, Daylesford and Mount Baw Baw are expected to weather the storms but forecasters warn other areas could also be in the firing line.

"Severe thunderstorms with the potential for damaging wind gusts and heavy rain are possible outside the warning area as the cold front moves through western parts on Wednesday afternoon, and central parts during the evening," the bureau said.

Justin Dunlop, Ambulance Victoria's state health commander, said the bureau had informed him the next two weeks would be the peak of this year's pollen season which runs from October to December.

Ten people died during or soon after a thunderstorm asthma event in Melbourne on November 21 in 2016, with about 1400 people also treated in hospital.