HEAVY rain and hail hit the Gympie region just after lunch time this afternoon following a severe thunderstorm warning.
Reports flooded in of hail ranging from pea-sized to macadamia-nut sized hitting parts of the Gympie region, with those in the vicinity mostly referring to the amount of hail dropped, rather than anything of outstanding size.
Hail was reported at Widgee, Southside, Jones Hill and Curra where some yards were transformed into winter wonderlands for a matter of minutes, while Gympie received noticeably heavy rain.
GYMPIE is one of several areas that could experience large hailstones and damaging winds, the Bureau of Meteorology warns.
The BoM issued a severe thunderstorm warning at 10.56am for the southeast coast and parts of Wide Bay and Burnett, Darling Downs and the Granite Belt.
"Severe thunderstorms are likely to produce large hailstones and damaging winds in the warning area over the next several hours," the warning said.
"Locations which may be affected include Gympie, Warwick, Gold Coast, Toowoomba, Brisbane, Dalby, Maroochydore, Kingaroy, Stanthorpe and Caboolture."
Areas south of Brisbane this morning were already being inundated with heavy rain as a thunderstorm moves through from the west.
UNSTABLE activity over the Gympie region could culminate in a severe storm today, the Bureau of Meteorology is cautioning.
"A highly unstable upper level trough is sitting over the region,” BoM forecaster Chris Joseph said.
He described the likelihood of a severe storm as "quite likely” and said if occurring it could bring "strong winds up to 90km/h, flash flooding, some hail and even the odd tornado”.
"It's so unstable it could be even late this morning,” he said, despite storm activity usually appearing in the afternoon.
"We have seen rainfall in the Wide Bay and Capricornia this morning between 20-40mm - that's the kind of rain coming,” he said.
The rain will add to the higher than average October falls Gympie has had this month, which total 246.4mm so far.
In the past 10 days Gympie has recorded 186.4mm, with a peak of 45.4 last Saturday, October 14.
The forecaster is urging residents to watch for severe weather warnings through out the day.
The weather is predicted to clear by later this evening.