Queensland is on Saturday afternoon being lashed with “life threatening storms”, as nine storm cells make their move over southeast Queensland.
The Bureau of Meteorology said hail of 13cm had been reported at Hillcrest, south of Brisbane, and almost 30,000 properties are without power on Saturday afternoon.
West of the city, the Queensland Police and QFES have declared an Emergency Alert for Lockyer Valley, Ipswich, Laidley, Jimboomba and Amberley residents, where severe thunderstorms are forecast which would bring destructive winds and giant hail.
Another alert has been activated for parts of the Gold Coast, namely Woodridge, Beenleigh, Southport and Coomera as a dangerous storm tracks over the city.
Massive hailstones were detected in Logan, south of Brisbane.
Trains were suspended on the Beenleigh and Gold COast lines between Helensvale and Kuraby due to overhead powerlines being down, prompting delays of up to 60 minutes.
The Bureau of Meteorology has warned people in southeast Queensland to prepare for more dangerous thunderstorms on Saturday afternoon and night.
“The Bureau is warning the situation is volatile and continuing to change quickly, and for their own safety people should actively monitor the Bureau and Emergency Services for updates and warnings as they will continue to change.
“Some of these storms are fast-moving and fast-forming, so people should consider whether they need to be outside or on the road.
“The threat will continue throughout the afternoon and into tonight.”
In Springfield Lakes, one car was completely damaged.
One Brisbane resident made the best of a bad situation, subbing out his regular whiskey stones for hail stones.
ABC Queensland’s weather guru Jenny Woodward said it was the “first time” she has seen nine storms in a warning area.
Energex said at least 1000 customers had lost power in Brisbane, nearly 12,000 on the Gold Coast, and more than 16,000 in Logan.
The election day storms prompted a polling booth to shut down during Saturday’s state election.
The Electoral Commission of Queensland confirmed a polling booth in Ipswich had been shut down after a hailstorm lashed the electorate.
The Bureau of Meteorology has warned people to prepare for giant hail and locally destructive wind gusts as three storm cells move towards the coast.
Two are classified as very dangerous, while all three are expected to move over Ipswich towards the Gold Coast.
Ipswich is expected to cop the brunt of the storms about 2.30pm.
Hailstones 5cm in size have already been recorded at Seventeen Mile, while some up to 7cm in size were recorded near Gatton.
The Sunshine State can expect temperatures significantly above the October average as its residents decide between incumbent Premier Anastasia Palaszczuk and LNP leader Deb Frecklington.
Bureau meteorologist James Thompson said overall Queensland could expect warm and sunny weather but areas south of Rockhampton were set to be battered by storms.
“There’s a lot going on in our big state today,” he said.
Mr Thompson said people living in areas including Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast were in for destructive winds, giant hail stones, heavy rain and the potential flash flooding after days of rainfall.
Meanwhile the state’s eastern fringe will experience temperatures three to five degrees higher than normal for this time of year, with Brisbane to hit 31, Mackay 32, Townsville 32, Cairns 34, Longreach 33 and Mt Isa 35.
NSW and ACT
Parts of northern NSW are also advised to brace for severe thunderstorms that could carry high winds and hail to the region.
BOM meteorologist Shuang Wang said towns from Taree to Lismore could expect the worst of today’s weather, while Sydneysiders should also be prepared for Halloween storms.
Sydney is expected to remain cloudy throughout the day and hit a maximum temperature of 22 degrees, while also copping up to 20mm of rain.
Severe thunderstorms that could bring flash floods are also possible in Newcastle, the Central Coast and Wollongong, while Canberra is set for a downpour.
Melburnians can expect cool to mild temperatures with a top of 18 degrees on Saturday, as parts of the state’s northeast could see severe thunderstorms causing heavy rainfall, according to the BOM.
Tuesday’s Melbourne Cup is set to be blessed with clear skies and a top of 28 degrees.
Perth is expected to peak at 25 degrees on Saturday with heavy rain predicted across WA’s southwest for the weekend, mostly on Sunday.
Showers are predicted over the Kimberley, eastern Pilbara, North Interior, northeast Gascoyne, Goldfields and over southern and eastern parts of the South West Land Division.
Top of 21 for Adelaide with slight chance of morning showers on the coasts of the Peninsulas, Kangaroo Island and the Mount Lofty Ranges.
Cool to mild in the state’s south to warm in the north and far west. Moderate to fresh southeast to south-westerly winds.
Highs of 19 in Hobart and 20 in Launceston expected on Saturday.
Mostly fine across the Apple Isle, with some light showers predicted.
Darwin should be partly cloudy and hit a top of 31 today, while Alice Springs will be 30 and sunny.
Tennant Creek could hit 36 degrees on Saturday.