Heavy rain with the chance of flash flooding has been forecast as a low pressure system develops off the Queensland coast.
The system is expected to linger until Thursday, also producing strong wind and dangerous surf.
Weather bureau senior forecaster Ben Annells says falls of 100 to 200 millimetres are likely between Bowen in the state's north and Brisbane.
"The rain at this stage looks as though it's going to be at its heaviest later today and tonight and at least the first half of tomorrow," he said.
There has been close to 100 millimetres since yesterday morning on Hamilton Island and 76 millimetres at Mackay in north Queensland.
More than 200 millimetres of rain has already fallen at Doonan and Coolum on Queensland's Sunshine Coast in the past 48 hours.
Mr Annells says strong winds are also forecast.
"We're looking at that rainfall ramping up a little bit more so see potentially looking at those sorts of falls as you mentioned, so a couple of hundred millimetres certainly wouldn't be out of the question," he said.
"The Sunshine Coast lends itself to sort of receiving those heavier falls particularly in sort of situations like these and those rainfalls can extend inland to the hinterland as well.
"As it moves southwards it is going to deepen quite significantly.
"It's pretty much going to stay there at least for a couple of days probably at least until Thursday and then it may start to move south or south-west."
© ABC 2013
08:47 EST Drought assistance should not be used to prop up bad farmers, a leading agribusiness consultant has warned.