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Severe storms sweep across southern Queensland on New Year's Eve

Sunday December 31, 2017 - 19:30 EDT
ABC licensed image
Three-centimetre hail fell as a storm passed near Allora. - ABC licensed

Severe storms rumbled across much of Queensland on New Year's Eve, with some parts of the south-east hit with large hail, destructive winds and heavy rainfall, the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) says.

Thunderstorms have lashed parts of the Southern Downs and Lockyer Valley council areas.

Very severe and severe storms cells continue to fire up in some outlying regions of south-east Queensland, particularly around areas north of Warwick, Dalby and Gympie, the BOM warned.

A severe thunderstorm warning was issued for Cherbourg and parts of Gympie, Somerset, Scenic Rim, South Burnett, Toowoomba, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Moreton Bay council areas.

Allora, south of Toowoomba, has been warned a "dangerous cell" was moving towards the town.

BOM said the severe thunderstorm was likely to affect the area north-east of Kingaroy and Cherbourg, Coolangatta and Caloundra with damaging winds, large hailstones and heavy rainfall that may cause flash flooding.

Another severe thunderstorm warning is current for the south-east coast and parts of Wide Bay and Burnett, Darling Downs and Granite Belt districts.

Areas that may be affected include Warwick, Toowoomba, Dalby, Maroochydore, Gympie, Kingaroy, Noosa, Oakey, Caboolture and Caloundra.

The bureau said while Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Ipswich were unlikely to see any further thunderstorm activity, there were "still some showers about".

BOM forecaster Adam Blazak said the storms in the state's west were severe.

There has been four-centimetre-sized hail reported near Allora and four-centimetre-sized hail near Grantham.

BOM said there had been 71 millimetres of rain recorded in 60 minutes at Camp Hill Rd, 50 kilometres south-west of Laidley.

Allora resident Carla Pidgeon said the storm brought plenty of rain with it.

"No idea how much rain as the rain gauge is now on the ground in quite a few pieces," she posted on Facebook.

Life guards closed the beaches at Brisbane's South Bank due to the incoming storms, while one fireworks event at Ipswich was cancelled because of the forecast weather conditions.

Brisbane's fireworks organiser Max Brunner said it would take more than rain to cancel the shows.

"We will have to monitor that on the evening but if it's just rain, we're absolutely fine to fill the sky with fireworks," he said.

Brisbane City councillor David McLaughlin said the only issue might be the wind.

"They'll [fireworks organisers] be watching it carefully — obviously safety of patrons is the first and highest priority," he said.

"The show will go on regardless of rain — if there's heavy wind, that will be in the hands of the operators to decide whether or not they can proceed but they'll be looking at the wind-monitoring facilities that they have set up."

Public transport is the , with some very keen new year revellers already having staked out prime viewing spots along the Brisbane River.

There was extensive thunderstorm activity on the Gold Coast and southern border ranges out to Longreach overnight and this morning.


© ABC 2017

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