Stormy asthma warning for Melbourne and surrounding area as new storms hit the city

The Victorians are urged to remain vigilant, with wilder weather to whip the state this afternoon.

Severe thunderstorms are expected to hit Melbourne, particularly the western suburbs, as well as other parts of central Victoria.

The meteorological office warned of heavy downpours, large hail and strong gusts of wind, as well as the potential for developing stormy asthma epidemic conditions.

Senior forecaster Christopher Arvier said conditions should ease later overnight.

“We look at storms basically from 2pm and moving in urban areas between 4pm and 6pm is the most likely time,” he said.

Mr Arvier said the asthma risk from thunderstorms was of greatest concern in the region which included Melbourne and Geelong.

“Most districts have a moderate rating for stormy asthma, but the central district, which includes Melbourne and Geelong, is at high risk of stormy asthma with these thunderstorms as they pass through the city this afternoon,” did he declare.

According to the office, people with asthma, hay fever and seasonal rhinitis are at risk of developing symptoms before and during storms due to the combination of high levels of grass pollen and thunderstorms with strong winds.

People are advised to avoid the gusts of wind that precede the storm and to stay indoors with windows and doors closed.

Yesterday, storms that dumped 24 millimeters of rain into Melbourne’s CBD in 15 minutes caused localized flash floods, with cars submerged in areas such as Footscray.

No injuries were reported.

An asthma storm in Melbourne in 2016 resulted in more than 3,500 emergency room presentations, 35 intensive care admissions and 10 deaths.

A coronary inquest into the deaths, held later in the year, found that victims had a better chance of survival if those around them recognized the severity of their symptoms early enough.

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