Large areas of Victoria are expecting to be hit by intense rainfall and severe thunderstorms in the next few hours.

The wild weather is set to hit West and South Gippsland, Mallee, Northern Country, North Central and Wimmera districts.

Locations which may be affected include Morwell, Traralgon, Warragul, Sale, Moe, Maffra, Mt Baw Baw, Mildura, Ouyen, Swan Hill, Kerang, Walpeup, Birchip, St Arnaud, Bendigo, Echuca, Shepparton, Rochester and Castlemaine.

People in these areas are being told to stay indoors, move their vehicles under cover and stay away from trees.

Melbourne will see these showers arrive later this afternoon.

Senior Meteorologist at the Bureau of Meteorology Richard Russell said “It will be persistent through peak hour and it’s moving towards the city as we speak.’