Storm clouds on the horizon.
Storm clouds on the horizon.

SEVERE STORM: Hundreds without power

UPDATE 3.20PM: POWER outages have been recorded in a number of areas across the Southern Downs.

According to Ergon Energy, there are more than 230 customers currently affected in the Clifton, Allora and Leyburn areas.

Residents are cautioned to be alert to fallen trees and powerlines.

UPDATE 2.45pm: THE Bureau of Meteorology has increased its warning from this morning, issuing a severe thunderstorm warning, with damaging winds and large hailstones expected to impact to areas southwest of Warwick and the area west of Warwick.


These storms are moving east, and are forcast to affect Stanthorpe, Warwick, and the surrounding regions of Warwick by 3.10pm and the ares east of Warwick, Allora, Oakington and Maryvale by 3.40pm. 

EARLIER: RESIDENTS of the Southern Downs are being advised not to get too excited by the thunderstorms predicted for this afternoon.

While there is a 60 per cent chance of rain forecast for this afternoon, Bureau metrologist Livio Regano said it's unlikely that there will be high rainfall.

"Small regions might get some larger bits of rain, but it definitely won't be drought breaking rainfall," Mr Regano said.

"There is a potential situation that could produce a severe thunderstorm warning, at the moment though the warning hasn't been issued.

"The category, if it is released, will be for fast moving storms that will bring damaging winds and hail."

The Bureau of Meteorology have issued a fire weather warning for residents of the Darling Downs and Granite Belt region, with an alert remaining for potential gusty thunderstorms and ground-striking lightning.

"When there is a fire weather warning, it means that fires can start when there is a ground lightning strike, and can move easier because of how dry the ground currently is," Mr Regano said.

"The hot, dry winds that we are currently experiencing will potentially cause those fires to move more quickly"

With the increased fire warning, Ballandean rural firefighter, Graham Parker, said residents should remain alert for fires.

"It's the normal sort of message that we want people to be aware of, if you see unattended flames dial triple-0 and have the precise location details available," Mr Parker said.

"People just need to be careful, even though we've had a little bit of rain, it certainly hasn't been enough to properly nourish the land.

"It's far better that we send out somebody to investigate and find nothing, then having to head out to a fire that is fully burning."