National

Tornado, hail as storms hit southeast Qld

By AAP Newswire

Parts of southeast Queensland remain on thunderstorm watch after destructive supercells dumped tennis ball sized hail stones that injured three people, and a tornado was reported to have touched down.

Hail up to 7cm in diameter was reported in areas from Kingaroy to Gympie from just after midday as dangerous supercell storms barrelled across the region towards the Sunshine Coast.

Two women, one in her 70s and another in her 20s, as well as baby girl suffered multiple cuts when tennis ball-sized hail hit their car as they were driving on the D'Aguilar Highway between Kingaroy and Nanango about 1pm.

There were also reports of a tornado touching down near Tansey west of Gympie in the early afternoon, with the Bureau of Meteorology issuing a tornado warning for much of Thursday afternoon.

The destructive cells had broken up by 5:30pm, however weather bureau forecaster Adam Blazak said there would be instability into the evening.

"These storms aren't going away any time soon, so we are going to have quite a busy night," he said.

Over 1300 properties were without power in the Gympie region as at 5:30pm, the website of the local power supplier, Energex, says.

At around 12:30pm a person was injured when their car was hit by a tree which was felled by a lightning strike near Beaudesert southwest of Brisbane.

The storms hit the Kingaroy area hard with significant damage to a number of houses as well as causing Kumbia state school to shut down and crops devastated by the hail.