21 Jun 2011

Blizzard hits southern Australia

6:58 am on 21 June 2011

Thousands of homes are without power as gale force winds and blizzard conditions bear down on southern Australia.

The State Emergency Service has received hundreds of calls for help amid the stormy conditions, ABC reports.

The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a severe weather warning for much of Victoria as damaging winds with gusts of up to 120km/h are forecast to hit several parts of the state on Tuesday.

In Melbourne, fallen trees have blocked roads.

The weather bureau says heavy rain and thunderstorms have also struck the state's south-west at Casterton and Portland.

The weather bureau has also forecast blizzard conditions and destructive winds for the Australian Capital Territory and southern New South Wales.