Severe thunderstorms could be on the way, prompting thunderstorm asthma warning
A severe thunderstorm warning has been issued for parts of the state.
The Bureau of Meteorology says severe thunderstorms could produce damaging winds, heavy rainfall that may lead to flash flooding and large hailstones.
Locations which may be affected include Bendigo, Echuca, Shepparton, Seymour, Castlemaine and Kyneton.
It’s also prompted a moderate warning for thunderstorm asthma, with hayfever and asthma sufferers urged to be vigilant.
Attention: The Department of Health and Human Services has forecast a MODERATE risk of epidemic thunderstorm asthma for parts of Victoria. Be prepared and not alarmed. For more information tap here. – 1539654305 – https://t.co/6FhyZKMb0T pic.twitter.com/ahaJQjKdZI
— Melbourne Pollen (@MelbournePollen) October 16, 2018
Professor Jo Douglass, head of the Allergy and Clinical Immunology Department at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, explained to Tom Elliott how the phenomenon occurs.
“The main problem is that the grass pollen has started to flower, and the wind direction from the north and the west brings in the grass pollen, and then the thunderstorm asthma is due to the increase in humidity with the storm front,” she said.
“At the moment the high pollen with the start of the spring is what’s causing hayfever.”
She said the risk decreases when the rain comes.
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Photo: Bureau of Meteorology’s radar