Melbourne suburbs struck by damaging hail and wind with more storms on the way

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Heavy rain is on its way to Melbourne, possibly bringing more hail, as eastern suburbs recover from flash flooding and a belting of golf ball-sized hail that destroyed skylights and roofs.

Key points:

  • Melbourne’s eastern suburbs received 26mm of rain overnight and were struck by large hailstones
  • Further rain is the “main risk” today, the bureau warns, but more hail is a possibility
  • The fire danger is predicted to rise on Wednesday when northerly winds increase across most of Victoria

State Emergency Services duty officer Gerry Sheridan told the ABC this morning that the SES received 1,500 callouts in the past 24 hours, with about 1,200 coming from metropolitan Melbourne.

Eastern suburbs including Glen Iris, Malvern, Warrandyte and Templestowe were hit the hardest, with Malvern SES volunteers receiving more than 450 calls for assistance in just two hours last night.

Mr Sheridan said he expected more calls to come through as people woke up to the damage.

The majority of the calls concerned flooding and roof damage caused by hail smashing roof tiles and skylights.

There were about 250 callouts for fallen trees, and four people across the state had to be rescued when they drove into floodwaters.

Firefighters and SES volunteers were called to a fallen tree at 6:30pm in Settlement Road, Thomastown, which was blocking four lanes of traffic and had damaged powerlines.

The state also experienced sporadic power outages but there was no major impact on infrastructure.

Pieces of hailstones next to a 20c piece for size comparison

More rain on its way

A severe weather warning remains in place today for heavy rain and flash flooding in Gippsland and south-west Victoria.

Meteorologist Dean Narramore said there was the potential for hail to hit isolated areas in Melbourne again this afternoon.

“That was a pretty amazing hailstorm yesterday but rain will be the main risk today,” he said.

A downpour is expected to cause flash flooding in some Melbourne suburbs this afternoon when two areas of rain merge together over southern Victoria.

A person holding hailstones

Mr Narramore said between 10 millimetres and 30mm of rain was expected in most Melbourne suburbs, but some would miss out.

Gusty winds through southern parts of the state will pick up today, prompting a strong wind warning for Port Phillip Bay.

Omeo received 38mm of rain overnight, the Mount Buffalo Chalet received 29mm, and widespread rain and storms are expected to hit more fire-affected areas today, bringing about 80mm of rain to the state’s east and north-east.

There is a flood watch for fire-affected areas in north-east Victoria and East Gippsland.

Wednesday to see increased fire risk

Mr Narramore said the storms would clear tomorrow, bringing sunshine and clear skies.

But the fire danger is expected to rise to severe and extreme in the north-west, north, and Wimmera from Wednesday afternoon when temperatures hit about 38 degrees Celsius.

Raised dust could also hit the north-west, and the fire danger is forecast to be very high for the rest of the state.

Melbourne temperatures will reach about 31C.

“The rain should help the north-east and east, but the wind will be worry from Wednesday afternoon until the evening and overnight as you get into the fire zones,” Mr Narramore said.

The current forecast for Australia Day weekend is for a sunny three days, but Mr Narramore said that could change.

Fire at Pipers Creek downgraded

Despite the torrential rain weather, an emergency warning was issued about 9:30pm last night for an out-of-control bushfire at Pastoria and Pipers Creek, north of Melbourne.

An emergency warning was also issued for Lancefield and Newham, but both were downgraded to an advice warning by 10:45pm.

A number of watch and act warnings were downgraded to advice warnings overnight for the Upper Murray and in and around Mount Buffalo and Bright.

Fires burn through vegetation on a hill surrounded by a dark blue sky.