WARNING: A severe thunderstorm is on the way.
WARNING: A severe thunderstorm is on the way. Brian Cassidy

URGENT: Storm warning - get car (and self) under cover NOW

SEVERE and dangerous thunderstorms are headed this way, with large hail and severe and damaging winds over a huge area, especially in western parts of Gympie region.

In a priority alert, the Bureau of Meteorology has warned of thunderstorms across the whole of South East Queensland and parts of Central Queensland and the Darling Downs.

The storms, which are heading this way from the west, will hit soon and are likely to last throughout the afternoon and evening, the bureau says.

The Queensland Fire and Emergency Service says people, especially in western districts, should immediately take precautions.

"Move your car under cover and away from trees, Secure loose outdoor items, seek shelter (preferably indoors and never under trees), avoid using the telephone during electrical storms and beware fallen trees and powerlines.

For emergency assistance, contact the State Emergency Service on 132500.

Severe conditions are expected to be worse in near-western areas, but they are heading east.

The bureau says it will issue further more detailed warning if severe thunderstorms reach Rainbow Beach to Stanthorpe.