Stone fruit growers in all Victorian forecast districts have been advised by the Bureau of Meteorology that rainfall and accompanying high humidity during Friday and Saturday are conducive to a heavy outbreak of brown rot.
A large high pressure system near New Zealand continues to direct a hot and humid northeasterly airstream over Victoria. A trough of low pressure crossing the Bight will reach western Victoria late today (Thursday) then become slow moving. A low pressure system will develop on the trough over northwestern Victoria on Friday then drift slowly southeastwards over the weekend. Milder, less humid southerly winds will develop behind the low, as a new high pressure system forms in the Bight.
The Bureau forecasts heavy rain and scattered thunderstorms which may lead to flash flooding are likely to develop in the far west during Thursday night before extending across the remaining parts of the State during Friday. The heavy rain and thunderstorm activity will continue on Saturday.
Three day totals of around 60-120mm are expected south of the Divide and over the far northwest with totals of 100-200mm for remaining areas on and north of the Divide. However, totals over the northeast ranges may exceed 250mm.
Locations which may be affected include Mildura, Horsham, Warrnambool, Bendigo, Shepparton, Seymour, Maryborough, Ballarat, Geelong, Melbourne, Wodonga, Wangaratta, Traralgon and Bairnsdale.
The State Emergency Service advises that people should:
* Don't walk, ride or drive through flood water;
* Keep clear of creeks and storm drains;
* Be aware that in fire affected areas, rainfall run-off into waterways may contain debris such as ash, soil, trees and rocks;
* Be alert that in areas recently affected by fires, heavy rainfall increases the potential for landslides and debris across roads;