Update 7.30pm:

The number of Sunshine Coast homes without power is rising rapidly, with Energex reporting about 7500 homes in the dark as severe storms lash the region.

The weather bureau's severe thunderstorm warning has been updated to show the storm front, which is tracking south east, is due to affect the area north of Noosa Heads, Cooroy, Lake Cooloola, the area north of Gympie and waters off Sunshine Beach by 7:40pm.

Heavy rainfall, large hail and damaging winds are expected.

Residents have been warned to move their cars under cover and to avoid driving. 

Update 6pm:

More than 4000 Sunshine Coast homes are without power as severe thunderstorms ravage southeast Queensland this evening.

Energex's emergency outage page has reported 4626 homes in the Sunshine Coast local government area have had their power cut, while 317 in Noosa are affected.

The worst hit suburbs are Mapleton and Burnside, with 764 and 579 homes without power respectively.

There are 410 homes in Conondale without power, 275 in Belli Park, 250 in Dulong, 401 in Kenilworth, 170 in Nambour and 242 in Yandina.

Severe thunderstorms are hitting southeast Queensland this evening, cutting power to thousands of homes. Photo: Jojo Schultz
Severe thunderstorms are hitting southeast Queensland this evening, cutting power to thousands of homes. Photo: Jojo Schultz Jojo Schultz

Update 5.45pm: 

Three "waves" of hail came down in the Sunshine Coast hinterland this afternoon as thunderstorms ravaged the southeast corner.

Diamond Valley resident Kirsty Williamson said heavy rainfall came down around 4pm.

"About an hour ago it started with a bit of rain, and then the hail," she said.

Kirsty Williamson said there were three waves of hail on Saturday afternoon at Diamond Valley.
Kirsty Williamson said there were three waves of hail on Saturday afternoon at Diamond Valley.

She said the first round of hail was quite small and lasted for about 10 minutes.

Mrs Williamson, whose property is near Eudlo, said it seemed like the storm was over, when larger hail began to fall.

"We could just hear these big dropping sounds on the roof, the hail was much bigger and heavier," she said.

 She said shortly after more rainfall came down, and some smaller pieces of hail.

"It was just a bit eerie because when it started it was the rapid, pelting sounds, but then it slowed down and it was much bigger," she said.

Earlier 4pm:

Forecasters are warning conditions are "ripe" for severe storm cells tipped to sweep across the region this afternoon.

Meteorologist James Thompson said the Coast hadn't "seen the worst of it yet" and powerful storm cells were "only just starting".

Mr Thompson, a weather bureau forecaster said there had been reports of giant hail and damaging wind gusts south of Brisbane on Saturday, and the bureau had issued a warning for dangerous thunderstorms the afternoon and into the evening.

'Perfect setup': Coast in line for severe storms

He said the atmosphere was "ripe over the Sunshine Coast" for similar conditions to what had been experienced south of Brisbane.

A severe weather warning has been issued for Southeast Queensland. Picture: BOM
A severe weather warning has been issued for Southeast Queensland. Picture: BOM

Several storm cells had started to pass over the region this afternoon, but little rainfall had been recorded from those.

The systems posing the most threat were building from near Gayndah and Gympie, and making their way southeast towards the coastline.

MOODY: Black clouds rolling in over the Maroochy River. Photo: Patrick Woods
MOODY: Black clouds rolling in over the Maroochy River. Photo: Patrick Woods

Mr Thompson said it wasn't a matter of one storm system, but "quite a few storms moving through".

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He said the threat of heavy rainfall would increase later into the evening, and a warning was current for destructive winds in excess of 125km/h.

Mr Thompson said meteorologists didn't "lightly" put a warning out, but the threat was perceived as too high not to sound the alarm.

He said some storm activity could persist into tomorrow morning, but it would be "very much a today event".

The storm cells were stretching from Wide Bay to the New South Wales border, with reports of hail in excess of 12 cm.

The situation has been described as volatile, and the Bureau has asked people to consider whether they need to be outside, as the fast-moving cells impact.


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