UPDATE 6.25pm: The intensity of the storm as it passed over Buderim was enough to rip an enormous tree from the ground, toppling it on to the house next door.

Owen Jacques was on the deck of the Queenslander at the time, his wife inside with their sleeping six-month-old daughter.

"At first I didn't know what it was.

Storm coming over Maroochydore — at Emporio Maroochydore.
Storm coming over Maroochydore — at Emporio Maroochydore. Wendy Black

"The storm was becoming more intense so when I heard an enormous bang, my first thought was flying debris so I rushed inside.

"Our neighbour popped over to check if we were OK, and that's when we realised there was an enormous tree now leaning on our house."

Mother Nature is angry. Alex Beach. Quick pano on phone before it started pouring
Mother Nature is angry. Alex Beach. Quick pano on phone before it started pouring Jan Schramm

The house itself does not appear to have suffered any damage, he said.

"We were very lucky. A few metres over and it would have taken out that whole side of the house."

UPDATE 5.55pm: Calls have started trickling in to the State Emergency Service as damage starts to register from the storm system sweeping the Sunshine Coast.

However, despite the rain and light show, damage seems limited, with Queensland Fire and Emergency Services saying there had been only 27 calls for help across the whole of the south east corner and only 10 on the Sunshine Coast.

Terry Schembri captured this photo of the lightning at Buderim.
Terry Schembri captured this photo of the lightning at Buderim.

Electrical connections remain the bigger issue with people reporting power outages across the region on the Daily's Facebook page.

Bolts of lightning hit Sunshine Coast: Sunshine Coast passengers have recorded bolts of lightning in the sky during their travels from Nambour through to Maroochydore
Bolts of lightning hit Sunshine Coast: Sunshine Coast passengers have recorded bolts of lightning in the sky during their travels from Nambour through to Maroochydore

Buderim lost power, but parts of it have now had electricity restored. Coolum was also reported to have lost power.

Lolly McDonald said she saw the moment her place briefly lost power.

No power in Cooroy since 5pm.
No power in Cooroy since 5pm. Jacqui Cole Robinson

"Watched lightning hit the power lines and pole outside my place, huge explosion," she said. "Power went out for 30 seconds."

More than 2000 buildings across the coast have lost power in the storm with Buderim and Mooloolaba believed to be the worst affected.


UPDATE 5.15PM: Maroochydore and Caloundra are now being pounded by storms with northern areas of the Sunshine Coast expected to be hit hard soon.

A new warning issued by the Bureau of Meteorology says severe storms had been detected at the two centres with Noosa and Noosa Heads to be hit by 5.30pm.

Meanwhile Energex has detected thousands of lightning strikes across south east Queensland with sections of its lightning tracker map turned virtually white with recent strikes.

The tracker says more than 3000 lightning strikes have been recorded within the past few minutes.

Mitch Roberts captured this image of lightning striking at Tanawha.
Mitch Roberts captured this image of lightning striking at Tanawha. Contributed

UPDATE 2.20PM: The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a severe thunderstorm warning for the Sunshine Coast and south east Queensland.

The storms are likely to produce damaging winds, heavy rainfall that may lead to flash flooding and large hailstones in the warning area over the next several hours.

Areas most at risk include Warwick, Toowoomba, Brisbane, Kingaroy, Stanthorpe, Caboolture, Goondiwindi and Emerald. 


The State Emergency Service is asking residents to take action now to minimise the effects of potentially severe storms 

Bureau of Meteorology Weather Services Manager Richard Wardle said while thunderstorms are a feature of the Queensland summer, storms this weekend had the potential to bring significant impacts.

"Storms that are expected to arise today and over the weekend have the potential to bring very heavy rainfall, large hail, and damaging winds," he said.

SES Assistant Commissioner Peter Jeffrey urged residents to take action now to minimise any storm damage.

"Take time to discuss your emergency plan with your family,  so you know what steps each family member would take in the case of a severe weather event," Mr Jeffrey said.

"Make sure your gutters are clear so that rain run-off doesn't back up into the eaves of your roof and check roofs to ensure they are storm ready.

"Trim overhanging branches that may come down in heavy rain and secure any loose outdoor items that could become dislodged by strong winds.

"You should prepare your home and have an emergency kit stocked and ready to go, that will allow your family to survive in isolation or without power for three days."

Mr Jeffrey said heavy rain could cause flash flooding and residents needed to plan their driving trips this weekend to make sure they wouldn't be caught in a dangerous situation.

"Part of your preparation should include having a Plan B or alternate route in case flash flooding cuts off the road you would usually use."

Mr Jeffrey said the potential for severe weather would be present across the weekend and residents should not assume the risk of impact would lessen if they did not experience a severe storm today.

"This is not the time for people to be complacent," he said.

"People need to make sure they are prepared each and every day for at least the next three days.

"Plan ahead, talk to your family about your preparations and make sure your house and property is well prepared each day."

Mr Jeffrey said all residents should know where to find warnings and should sign on to early alert systems if available for their area.

"Make sure you tune into local radio or visit the Bureau of Meteorology website to keep up to date with warnings and unfolding weather events," he said.

"If you need SES assistance call 132 500 or log a job through the SES App which is available through Google Play and the App Store.

"In a life threatening emergency always call 000." 


EARLIER: UNSTABLE weather conditions mean it's hard to pick where the worst of the storms will hit this weekend, Sunshine Coast Council disaster coordinator Andrew Ryan has warned.

"There's a very high chance of significant rainfall from today to Sunday in localised areas, with the possibility of severe thunderstorms," Mr Ryan said.

"Last night alone, we saw 129mm fall in Mapleton, 145mm in Parklands and 69mm at Bli Bli - if we get that sort of rainfall during the day, it can pose a real risk for drivers.

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"At this stage the Bureau of Meteorology is predicting the highest levels of rainfall for Saturday, but this could change quickly.

"What we saw in last night's storms are what we call 'micro bursts' of short duration heavy rainfall, so there could be significant rainfall in one location and virtually none in the next suburb - that's why it's important that everyone across the region is aware and prepared for the unstable weather conditions.

"It's easy to be complacent when we haven't had severe weather for some time, but flash flooding, damaging winds and large hail are all very common with these types of thunderstorms."

Mr Ryan said Coast residents should make sure they have an emergency kit ready in case the worst happens.

"The most important items for people to have are a radio and a torch - it's essential that you can stay up to date if the power goes out," he said.

"As always, we remind people to never drive through flood waters - if it's flooded, forget it.


TRAFFIC is flowing more freely between Nambour and Mapleton after a landslip caused by heavy rain led to  delays this morning.

Tthe westbound lane of Mapleton Rd near the Dulong lookout was closed by the slip which is believed to be cleaned up or nearly cleaned up.

The slip came after a thunderstorm swept through the region last night, dumping more than 100mm of rain at Nambour and Mapleton.

The highest rainfall recorded was 145mm at Radar Hill, near Nambour, followed by 129mm at Mapleton and 107mm at Poona Dam.

State Emergency Service Sunshine Coast area local controller Janet Scott said three calls for help had been received from residents at Yandina, Nambour and Maleny where water had leaked into the roofs and ceilings.

Mrs Scott said SES groups would be checking the availability of volunteers today in preparation for the possibility of severe storms over the next three days.


DRIVERS are being urged to use caution on Sunshine Coast roads this morning after a thunderstorm swept through the region overnight. 

Hazards were reported on Mapleton Rd, Kureelpa, and Bli Bli Rd, Nambour after the storm dumped 129mm of rain on Mapleton and 104mm at Nambour.

Bli Bli Rd, Nambour has since been removed from the hazard list, but one lane remains closed on Mapleton Rd at Kureelpa.


The storm brought thunder, lightning, and heavy downpours from about 11.30pm, dropping 48.8mm of rain on Maroochydore in two-and-a-half hours. 

Residents from the northern end of the Coast, like Kathy Graham, avoided the worst of the storm. 

"12mm Peregian Beach," she posted on the Daily's Facebook page. 

"Very heavy and loud rumbling for half an hour from 12.40am.

Thunderstorms dumped a huge amount of rain on Mapleton and Nambour overnight, causing hazards on some roads: http://ow.ly/XEvJa How much did you get at your place? Share your storm photos below.

Posted by Sunshine Coast Daily on Thursday, 28 January 2016

READ: Extreme storms tipped for Friday and Saturday

The Bureau of Meteorology has warned more severe storms are likely on the way for the Sunshine Coast today, bringing with them the risk of heavy rain, damaging winds and large hail.



  • Jackie Lewis: Started at midnight, 130mm with very bad lightening and thunder.
  • Sue Bell: We had 2.5 inches at Woombye.
  • Kathy Graham: 12mm Peregian Beach. Very heavy and loud rumbling for half an hour from 12.40am.
  • Rozzy Smith: 59mm nambour near Shell servo.
  • Peta Cobbe: 90mm at Maroochy River.
  • Jacqueline Broekman: 25mm Sippy Downs.
  • Dale Lorraine: O'Keeffe 16mm at Palmwoods.
  • Kerri-Ann Kumar: Still waiting for some!