UPDATE 4PM: 

Heavy rainfall has well and truly reached the Sunshine Coast as the region prepares for more wet weather.

A severe thunderstorm warning issued by the weather bureau remains for parts of the Coast, which may produce damaging winds and heavy rain.

Rain is now soaking the Sunshine Coast. Photo: Bureau of Meteorology
Rain is now soaking the Sunshine Coast. Photo: Bureau of Meteorology

The storms are expected to hit northern Moreton Bay and waters off Bribie Island by 4.40 pm.

EARLIER:

A severe thunderstorm warning has been issued for parts of the Sunshine Coast and Gympie as southeast Queensland prepares for an afternoon of intense rain, damaging winds and large hail.

The weather bureau warned flash flooding could be as a result of the thunderstorms over the next few hours, affecting areas around Maroochydore, Gympie and Rainbow Beach.

On Tuesday morning, residents were warned giant hailstones and destructive winds could hit the southeast as a La Nina weather pattern set in for a summer of dangerous storms.

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Residents have been warned to prepare their homes.

The weather bureau says damaging winds and large hail could batter the Coast today, as southeast Queensland braces for severe thunderstorms. Photo: Supplied
The weather bureau says damaging winds and large hail could batter the Coast today, as southeast Queensland braces for severe thunderstorms. Photo: Supplied

Meteorologist Jonathan How said there was the potential for dangerous conditions in the region on Tuesday and Wednesday.

"Tuesday will be a dangerous thunderstorm day right across southeast Queensland," he said.

"Severe thunderstorms are likely, and these could produce damaging to destructive wind gusts in excess of 100km/h, large to giant hail in excess of 5cm, and heavy rainfall leading to flash flooding."

A Surf Life Saving Queensland spokeswoman said beachgoers should follow the advice of lifeguards and stay out of the water if beaches were closed.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services has urged residents to move their cars under cover or away from trees, secure loose outdoor items, avoid driving, walking or riding through flood waters, seek shelter and avoid using a phone during a thunderstorm.

For emergency assistance contact SES on 132 500.

The storms come after a wet weekend in which there were more than 80,000 lightning strikes across the southeast.

Mr How said upwards of 200mm of rain fell across Queensland and New South Wales over the weekend.



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