A low pressure trough is slowly progressing over Queensland and northeast New South Wales today and will trigger widespread and potentially severe thunderstorms.
A severe thunderstorm warning is in place for the Darling Downs and Granite Belt, warning that storms are likely to produce damaging winds and large hailstones.
There are three main ingredients required for thunderstorms to develop, which include surface heating, moisture in the lower levels of the atmosphere and instability.
North to northwest winds ahead of the trough are leading to warm temperatures over the region this morning. In southeast Queensland, Oakey had already hit 29 degrees at 10:30am and Brisbane had climbed to 24 degrees at the same time. This heat is priming the conditions before the low pressure trough brings the moisture and instability needed for the storms to develop.
Thunderstorms have already begun to develop through interior parts of Queensland and northern New South Wales this morning and will track east with the trough during the day.
As the low pressure trough gradually moves eastwards the thunderstorm activity will move offshore during the evening. A region of high pressure will then build over eastern Australia, bringing calmer conditions for Tuesday and Wednesday.
Looking further ahead, the next event of widespread thunderstorm activity across the east of the country is set to arrive on Thursday afternoon with a deepening trough and strong front crossing southeast Australia.
© Weatherzone 2012
12:53 EST Communities and individuals affected by cyclones that struck the Pilbara coast earlier this year are being encouraged to apply for natural disaster funding.