Stormclouds gather over Nudgee Golf Club yesterday. Picture: Anthony Reginato
Stormclouds gather over Nudgee Golf Club yesterday. Picture: Anthony Reginato

Lights out for southeast after wild weather

THOUSANDS of homes were without power overnight after a series of severe storms dumped heavy falls and hail across the state's southeast.

The Sunshine Coast copped the worst of the weather, where more than 110mm of rain drenched Bli Bli in less than an hour.

Coolum was also soaked by about 60mm, while Maroochydore experienced falls of up to 67mm.

More than 13,000 homes and businesses on the Sunshine Coast were without power following the deluge, as emergency services responded to downed powerlines and trees.

Sacha Jordan took this picture of lightning striking in Woolloongabba.
Sacha Jordan took this picture of lightning striking in Woolloongabba.

There were also reports of hail across the southeast, with an afternoon storm dumping 2mm chunks of ice on Movie World at the Gold Coast.

As the storm moved further north, winds gusts of more than 100km/h were recorded at Double Island Point near Fraser Island.

Weather bureau forecaster David Grant said the storms passed through the region "fairly quickly".

"They were fairly widespread, extending from the central interior of Queensland right throughout much of the southeast Queensland this afternoon and this evening," he said last night.

"The risk of severe thunderstorm activity does reduce after today."

EARLIER: QUEENSLAND remains on weather alert as a series of severe storms batter the state from Clermont to the Gold Coast.

Hail of up to 4mm in size has already been dumped on the Gold Coast hinterland as showers of up to 50mm fall across the southeast.

The storms are expected to last into the night, with several severe weather warnings active for a large swathe of the state.

The heaviest falls have been recorded on the Gold Coast, where more than 50mm has fallen at Binna Burra since 9am.

About 37mm has also hit Upper Sprinbrook, while Tallebudgera has experienced falls of about 17mm.

There have been reports of hail at Upper Springbrook and Coomera.

Weather bureau meteorologist Andrew Bufalino said the rainfall across the region had been very patchy.

"Some places have had some decent falls, some places down the road have had nothing," he said.

"[There are] very isolated pockets of damaging winds and the odd large hail within the storms.

"This activity will clear off throughout the evening..."

The Bureau of Meteorology warns that, at 6:35pm, severe thunderstorms were detected on the weather radar near Mount Beerwah, the area northwest of Jimna, Toogoolawah, the area north of Nanango and Beerburrum.

These thunderstorms are moving towards the north.

They are forecast to affect Maroochydore and Kilcoy by 7:05 pm and the area northeast of Kingaroy and the ranges between Gympie and Murgon by 7:35 pm.

The weather bureau has also warned that the storms could lead to further damaging winds and large hail stones.


Reader Sacha Jordan took this photo of storm clouds rolling over Woolloongabba in Brisbane.
Reader Sacha Jordan took this photo of storm clouds rolling over Woolloongabba in Brisbane.

EARLIER: PARTS of the state's southeast are being hit by severe thunderstorms this afternoon.

Destructive thunderstorms moved in a northerly direction from the NSW border, bringing large hailstones and strong winds.

The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a severe thunderstorm warning for Brisbane, Ipswich, Logan, Redland City and parts of Scenic Rim, Southern Downs, Lockyer Valley and Gold Coast.

Cleveland and Ipswich are being impacted as of 5.30pm, while Brisbane CBD and Mud Island are expected to be hit at 6pm.

Hail hammered parts of the Gold Coast as a storm swept through.

Northern suburbs including Oxenford copped the brunt of the storm.

Oxenford resident Pat Johnson said grape-sized hailstones shredded gardens and destroyed Christmas decorations in his street.

"It only lasted about 20 minutes but the yard turned white with hail," Mr Johnson said.

"We haven't had a hailstorm for several years. It wasn't a really severe one but it did a bit of damage and scared the hell out of the dog."

The M1 northbound is heavily congested as Gold Coast residents head to Brisbane for tonight's Paul McCartney concert at Suncorp Stadium.

Almost 1200 customers have lost power, according to Energex, and Surf Lifesaving Queensland reports more 20 beaches are closed.

Mt Tamborine has also been left blanketed in hail.

Locations which may be affected include Gold Coast, Brisbane, Ipswich, Moreton Bay and islands, Caboolture and Taroom.

A severe thunderstorm warning is also current for the Southeast Coast and parts of Central Highlands and Coalfields, Capricornia, Wide Bay and Burnett and Darling Downs and Granite Belt Forecast Districts.

Showers of up to 31mm fell across the region yesterday, as hail was dumped near Oakey and wind gusts reached more than 90km/h in Dalby.

The above-average temperatures also persisted, with the mercury in Brisbane reaching a top of 31C.

Bureau of Meteorology weather forecaster David Grant said more severe thunderstorms were forecast for the southeast today that could potentially lead to damaging winds and hail.

"During (today), we will have a south easterly wind change push through southeast Queensland," he said.

"And with that, it will at least remove the risk of any severe thunderstorm activity into the course of early next week."

Mr Grant said there was still the chance of showers in the region lasting through to early next week.

The temperature was expected to climb to 31C in the River City today, and it will be about 1C warmer in Ipswich.