Victoria braces for cold snap, strong wind

Michael Fowler

Victorians have been warned to brace for a "blast of winter" with a significant cold front to sweep the state for the first time this year.

Melbourne is expected to drop to 8C with a maximum of 13C on Thursday before rain and strong to gale-force winds kick in on Friday, the Bureau of Meteorology forecasts.

"Polar air is moving across southeastern Australia," forecaster Michael Efron said.

"We are likely to see extensive shower activity across the state ... places around the Grampians and the ranges near Ballarat could see a dusting of snow during Thursday.

"We have issued a farmers and graziers warning given the very cold conditions expected."

A strong wind warning has also been released for eastern and central areas, including Melbourne.

Residents across the state have been advised to monitor the weather bureau's website, with further warnings likely.