Thousands without power as storms lash region

UPDATE 5.20PM: Thousands of homes are without power after storms lashed the region this afternoon. 

The Ergon Energy power outage finder is currently reporting 1438 homes around Oakey are without power. 

Pittsworth had lost power earlier this afternoon but has since been restored. 

There are reports Glenvale and Highfields have also lost power. 

UPDATE, 4.50PM: The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a severe thunderstorm warning for Toowoomba for damaging winds and large hailstones. 

An 83km/h wind gust was recorded at Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport at 4.40pm. 

Storms are forecast to affect Toowoomba, the area north of Toowoomba and the area west of Kilcoy by 5.20 pm and Kilcoy, Helidon and Haden by 5.50 pm. 

Severe storm warning for Toowoomba. 4.25pm. 13/02/18
Severe storm warning for Toowoomba. 4.25pm. 13/02/18 Matthew Newton

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services advises that people should:

  • Move your car under cover or away from trees.
  • Secure loose outdoor items.
  • Seek shelter, preferably indoors and never under trees.
  • Avoid using the telephone during a thunderstorm.
  • Beware of fallen trees and powerlines.
  • For emergency assistance contact the SES on 132 500.

The next warning is due to be issued by 5:50 pm. 

A more general severe thunderstorm warning is also current for parts of the Wide Bay and Burnett, Darling Downs and Granite Belt and Southeast Coast districts. 

UDPATE 4.25PM: LARGE storms have swept through Pittsworth and Crows Nest this afternoon, with rain on the way for Toowoomba.

Storm clouds over Crows Nest this afternoon.
Storm clouds over Crows Nest this afternoon. Jodie N Mylee Volz

Residents in Crows Nest took to social media, with some saying they received "massive amounts of rain". 

Others posted photos of tiny, pebble-sized hail. 

There are also reports Geham through to Hampton received decent falls.

Just after 4.10pm, one resident at Grapetree reported receiving 35mm. 

Others reported seeing large flashes of lightning. 

UPDATE 3:45PM: THE Bureau of Meteorology has issued a storm warning for parts of the Darling Downs this afternoon.


EARLIER: HOT and stormy conditions will prevail across Toowoomba and the Darling Downs over the coming days.

With the heat and humidity causing an unstable air mass over the region, the possibility of severe thunderstorms developing around Toowoomba and the ranges will remain until Friday.

Bureau of Meteorology duty forecaster Annabelle Ford said there was the potential for damaging wind gusts if the storms did form.

She said the storms would be likely late in the afternoon and into the evening.

Toowoomba is expected to reach a top of 36 degrees tomorrow, 35 on Thursday, and 33 on Friday.

Ms Ford said an inland trough pushing up through south-west Queensland would cause temperatures to ease a little by the weekend, though they would remain above average for this time of year.

The trough's southerly winds would bring slightly cooler, drier air, she said.

Warwick is expected to top 39 degrees tomorrow, 37 on Thursday and 35 on Friday.

Roma's temperatures will sit between 40 and 42 degrees until Monday.

Health services are reminding people to stay cool and out of the sun, with heatwave conditions extending across most of the state.

A Queensland Ambulance Service spokesperson said there were five heat-related incidents reported for the Darling Downs at the weekend.