Australia Weather News

Thousands of homes are without power as wild winds and heavy rain move across Tasmania.

Thunderstorms and winds of more than 100 kilometres per hour have been recorded at King Island, Wynyard and Launceston as a cold front moves east across the state.

Jason King from TasNetworks said the storm had knocked out power to about 10,000 premises.

He was unable to say when the power would be back.

"Until we assess the impact of that damage, it is difficult to make assessments about when people's power will come back on," he said.

Police are asking motorists to be safe on the roads with numerous reports of fallen trees and powerlines.

Senior Sergeant Nick Clark said there had also been reports of problems with traffic lights.

"Whether you're travelling along major highways, an urban street or rural road, you've got to remember there's going to be a lot of debris across the road today," he said.

"Trees down, possibly power lines down — so just slow down, drive to the conditions take your time with where you have to get to."

The weather bureau's David Matthews said that while the heavy rain had mostly passed, damaging winds were forecast to continue into the afternoon across the state.

"There's a fairly strong westerly flow behind this front and so we expect those conditions to continue and we expect the potential for damaging wind gusts right into the afternoon," he said.

North-west residents rang ABC Radio saying conditions were severe.

Matt Bendall from Wychwood Gardens Nursery near Mole Creek said he experienced intense rain, with the wind picking up for about five minutes.

"It was just cyclonic," he said.

"One of our English Oaks just snapped clean in two, quite extraordinary. Intense crazy winds and then just gone in a heartbeat".

The State Emergency Service said isolated gusty winds could reach 130 kilometres per hour and residents should secure loose items.

The cold front has also caused problems in Victoria with wind gusts of more than 100kph recorded in Melbourne.