Melb hailstorm moves to fire-ravaged east

Storms developed in Victoria on Sunday afternoon as a trough moved across from NSW.
Storms developed in Victoria on Sunday afternoon as a trough moved across from NSW.

A severe thunderstorm hit Melbourne's eastern suburbs on Sunday evening, prompting an emergency warning as golf-ball-sized hail damaged cars and cancelled events.

An emergency warning asking residents to move indoors was issued about 4.45pm on Sunday for Melbourne city, Caulfield, Glen Waverley, Altona, waters off Sandringham and Williamstown.

Meanwhile, 7000 punters saw how the Red Hot Summer Tour at Mornington Racecourse was cancelled amid fears of safety over hail and lightning.

Central Victoria's town of Broadford recorded 50mm of rainfall in 45 minutes, and bushfire-ravaged parts of Victoria could now face the possibility of flash flooding as the state is expecting its wettest two-day period in months.

Heavy rain, damaging winds and large hail are possible in eastern parts of the state including East Gippsland where fires continue to burn.

A severe weather warning was put in place on Sunday at 6pm for heavy rainfall expected to develop across the state on Monday morning.

"Widespread falls of 10-30mm are forecast for the warning area, with isolated falls of 60-80mm associated with thunderstorm activity", the warning read.

Across other parts of the state, widespread falls of 20-50mm are forecast with peak falls to 100mm possible. Much of the rainfall is expected to pour in periods of 4 to 6 hours.

"We're going to see some potentially flash flooding and severe thunderstorms over the next couple of days, including some damaged fire areas," Emergency Services Minister Lisa Neville warned.

"Victoria is about to see its wettest two-day period in many, many months," Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Dean Narramore said.

While rain was welcome in the state did come with dangers.

"Unfortunately coming in this massive amount in one go, quickly does cause some risk ... both in how you capture most of that ... and also debris run-off and the potential for fallen trees," the emergency services minister said.

The dangerous conditions come as firefighters work to contain a blaze at French Island at Western Port which started on Saturday.

More than 87 hectares was destroyed but only one outbuilding was damaged but the blaze did come very close to homes, authorities confirmed.

"Basically the fire on French Island did move very rapidly yesterday. We basically got large air tankers in there quickly. We actually had to take fire trucks across on a barge," Deputy Emergency Management Commissioner Chris Stephenson said.

"The news this morning is quite good and we hope we will contain that fire sometime later today."

The cause of the blaze is still unknown.

Across the state 396 homes have been destroyed in bushfires across the state and more than 600 outbuildings including sheds were also razed.

In the past week more than 223 blazes started in Victoria and of those 20 were classed as "significant" and burned more than 50 hectares.

Australian Associated Press