Brisbane’s New Year Celebrations

Severe storms will herald in the new year across much of Queensland, with the south-east in the firing line for large hail, destructivewinds and heavy rainfall, the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) says.

Thunderstorms have been detected in parts of Southern Downs and Lockyer Valley council areas.

A severe thunderstorm warning has been issued for people in Logan and parts of Ipswich, Somerset, Scenic Rim, Southern Downs, Toowoomba and Brisbane City council areas.

Another severe thunderstorm warning is current for the south-east coast and parts of Wide Bay and Burnett, Darling Downs and Granite Belt districts.

BOM forecaster Adam Blazak said the storms in the state’s west were severe, with reports of three-centimetre-sized hail near Allora.

Allora resident Carla Pidgeon said the storm brought plenty of rain with it.

“No idea how much rain as the rain gauge is now on the ground in quite a few pieces,” she posted on Facebook.

Mr Blazak said storms were likely to hit Brisbane about 4:00pm or 5:00pm.

There was extensive thunderstorm activity on the Gold Coast and southern border ranges out to Longreach overnight and this morning.

Brisbane’s fireworks organiser Max Brunner said it would take more than rain to cancel the shows.

“We will have to monitor that on the evening but if it’s just rain, we’re absolutely fine to fill the sky with fireworks,” he said.

Brisbane City councillor David McLaughlin said the only issue might be the wind.

“They’ll [fireworks organisers] be watching it carefully — obviously safety of patrons is the first and highest priority,” he said.

“The show will go on regardless of rain — if there’s heavy wind, that will be in the hands of the operators to decide whether or not they can proceed but they’ll be looking at the wind-monitoring facilities that they have set up.”

Public transport is the preferred option of travel, with some very keen new year revellers already having staked out prime viewing spots along the Brisbane River.