The Victorian Department of Health has issued a high-risk weather warning for parts of Victoria on Thursday October 28, with strong winds, showers and thunderstorms expected.

The warning comes with a high thunderstorm-asthma forecast. (Due to two unique factors, up to a third of the entire world's thunderstorm-asthma outbreaks happen in Melbourne.)

According to government advice, “People who have asthma or hay fever can get severe asthma symptoms during grass pollen season, when high amounts of grass pollen in the air combine with a certain type of thunderstorm.”

In south-east Australia, that can happen any time during grass pollen season, which runs from October to December. But the risk for those with asthma or hay fever is expected to be particularly high today.

“Thunderstorm asthma can affect those with asthma or hay fever – especially people who experience wheezing or coughing with their hay fever,” the advice also says.

Anyone at risk is advised to avoid being outside during thunderstorms, to close doors and windows, and – if using an air conditioner – turn it to recirculate mode. You should also have medication on hand and be prepared with an asthma action plan.

Find more information about thunderstorm asthma here.