The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) warned that winds could peak at up to 100 km/h, reaching 110 km/h over high areas.
The strongest winds are expected this afternoon and will continue through Wednesday morning.
The office said a strong cold front will enter the western part of the state late in the day, bringing a “vigorous flow from the north to the northwest.”
Showers and thunderstorms are also likely for affected areas.
A Watch and Act warning is now in place for residents to ‘prepare to take shelter’ for the Central Highlands, Dandenong, Great Dividing Range.
A severe weather warning is in place for areas such as Stawell, Hamilton, Warrnambool, Portland, Maryborough, Castlemaine, Kyneton, Ballarat, Frankston, Bacchus Marsh, Bright and Falls Creek.
Victorians urged to ‘prepare now’
The state emergency service urged affected residents to “prepare now” ahead of wild conditions.
VICSES chief operating officer Tim Wiebusch said it was important for residents to remain vigilant.
“Our volunteers across the state are ready to help communities deal with the extreme weather forecast for tonight,” he said.
“But with damaging or destructive winds possible, it’s essential that you stay alert and up to date on the latest warnings and advice.”
“Be sure to listen to the advice of emergency services and secure loose items in and around your home, park your vehicle under cover, away from trees, and stay indoors until inclement weather have passed”.
Drivers find themselves trapped in floodwaters as heavy rain hits two states
Wiebusch said residents should make sure gutters, downspouts and drains aren’t blocked to deal with the potential for heavy rain.
There’s a good chance of showers in Melbourne tomorrow and a chance of a thunderstorm.
Temperatures are expected to peak at 19C.
Call 132 500 for emergency assistance from VICSES.