A forecast of heavy rainfall and possible storms in Melbourne on Wednesday afternoon has heightened the risk of Thunderstorm Asthma.

The Department of Health and Human Services has issued a warning of a high to moderate risk level for Western and Central Victoria as the high pollen count combines with gusty winds and possibly severe thunderstorms that could sweep the state,

Anyone who has asthma, has had asthma in the past or hayfever symptoms have been urged to stay away from the storms and have a reliever at hand.

“These thunderstorms are likely to develop about the west during the late morning and early afternoon and then that system will move through into the central districts during the early evening reaching Melbourne around 7pm,” Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Chris Arvier said.