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Violent Weather System Hits Victoria

I woke this morning and went for a jog at around 6:30AM and it was already hot outside and it appeared today was going to be another scorcher.  My wife and I decided to take a ride up to the Yarra Valley to get away from the heat today which ended up being a bad move:

FIREFIGHTERS fear lightning strikes could spark new fires across Victoria as a cold front moves across the state.

Since 1.30pm (AEDT), five new fires have been sparked by lightning east of Melbourne, the Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) said.

However, DSE spokesman Stuart Ord said there were fears lightning could ignite more blazes as a cold front headed by strong winds moved across Victoria.

"There’s a cold front moving through the state and associated with that there’s a large and wide band of lightning," Mr Ord said.

"We’re expecting more lightning strikes as the front moves through the state."

Seven fires are burning across Victoria, with the largest south of Ballarat.  [AAP]

Right after we finished eating lunch a massive rain storm hit and just dumped buckets of rain.  My wife and I decided to call it a day and head back home.  During the ride home the lightning show that has caused all the bushfires in Victoria today was quite spectacular.  However, the wind and rain that was coming down made driving conditions very perilous as trees were literally falling down right around us on the road. 

I snapped this picture of one of the trees that fell in front of us that we stopped in time before hitting:

The big truck in the picture passed us when we stopped and just plowed through the tree.  This ended up being a good thing because the truck sort of became a battering ram for us because he knocked a lot of debris out of the way and made our drive home a bit more safer.  The Brisbane blogging crew (see here & here) has been getting whacked by more then their fair share of wild weather and I guess mother nature has decided to give those of us here in Victoria some as well.