More than 100 lightning strikes as storms roll over Coast
UPDATE 3.10pm: STORMS have begun rolling over the Sunshine Coast with Energex saying it has detected more than 100 lightning strikes in the past few minutes.
However, the Bureau of Meteorology is yet to issue a weather warning for the storms, suggesting they are expected to pass by harmlessly.
The Bureau weather radar suggests the main part of the storm is now passing over Noosa and Nambour. The most intense parts appear set to pass a little north of Maroochydore, although another intense cell appears on track to hit Caloundra.
UPDATE 2.30PM: STORM clouds are forming in the west and heading towards the Coast but no severe storms have been spotted on weather radars.
Weatherzone meteorologist Tristan Meyers said clouds were moving to the north east, bringing showers around Tewantin, Noosa and Maroochydore.
"We can see them still continuing to propagate towards the coast and weakening as they do, as they run into the sea breeze," he said.
"There is the potential they could become severe later in the afternoon under the influence of a bit more heating."
UPDATE: AS THE Coast sweltered through the hottest day of 2016 storm clouds built up and brought a little relief from the heat.
The storm also brought rain, and a some power outages.
Energex reported 1474 homes and businesses on the Sunshine Coast lost power overnight.
Services have been restored to most, but 74 customers in the Sunshine Coast council area and 16 in Noosa remain without electricity this morning.
More storms are expected this afternoon and showers have been forecast throughout the day.
Temperatures are expected to reach a maximum of 32C on the coast and 33C in Nambour by 3pm.
IN THE RAIN GAUGE:
EARLIER: BEATING the heat was priority one on the Coast yesterday as the hottest day of the year so far brought sweltering conditions and safety concerns.
Surf lifesavers at Mooloolaba dealt with their first casualty to heat-stroke at 9.30am as the blistering heat set in early.
By that time the temperature had reached 33.6, less than 4 degrees shy of the forecast 37.
Combined with humidity, the heat created unbearable conditions and a spike in heat-related illnesses.
Queensland Ambulance Service director of clinical quality and patient safety Tony Hucker said the service had predicted the heat but was not expecting so many people to be affected by it.
Across the state paramedics treated 26 people with heat-related illnesses, five of which were on the Sunshine Coast.
"It's been awful, we've had a really bad day," Mr Hucker said.
"Even if it cools off a bit we've got to think about the high-risk groups (the elderly and very young).
"Heat-related illness is really insidious, it just creeps up on you.
"You can be feeling a little unwell and before you know it you're really, really crook."
Temperatures maxed out in the middle of the day, reaching a top of 36.4 in Maroochydore, 34.9 in Tewantin and 34.6 in Nambour, beating the year-to-date high of 34.6 felt in Nambour on Monday. But as temperatures began to drop, the ambient temperature continued to rise to what felt like 38.5.
Brett and Kelly Raabe's in-car thermometer said it was 38 degrees driving around at Kawana.
About the same time, Shontia Bretts said residents at Landsborough were copping 37.
Carol Murray's in-car thermometer said it was 42 and Kerrin York picked up a reading of 36.9, although its "felt like" reading was 45.
As far as how the region "felt", plenty of people said they felt like the temperature was above 40 degrees.
Others just noted online that it was really hot.
"Noosa Heads - melting even under the air con," commented Janice Ward.
"I just went and picked my kids up from school cause the have no air con. Poor things are melting there," commented Louise Steve.
"Thirty-two in Mapleton (frown emoticon) no fans, no air con, feel like I am slowly melting," said Love Faith.
While some sought out shady spots or cooled off at the Coast's beaches, rivers and waterfalls, many were cranking up the air conditioning, pushing the south-east Queensland electricity network demand to extreme.
A spokeswoman for Energex said the demand, which reached 4465mW, was high but had not caused outages.
"The summer peak in 2010 was 4760, so we're getting close but there's still quite a bit of leeway there," she said.
"We saw a little bit of an increase first up (yesterday) morning, that's because it was fairly hot at the beginning of the day."
Energy use was expected to peak as workers arrived home between 4pm and 8pm and tried to cool their homes.
The heat is expected to ease slightly today, dipping to a maximum of 31 before a south-east change brings temperatures below 30 tomorrow, Weatherzone meteorologist Rob Sharpe said.
"In the afternoon and evening we will be likely to
see showers and thunderstorms move through the region before that south-east change kicks in early on Thursday," he said.
Despite this, Mr Hucker warned heat-related illnesses will remain a risk.
"When we get heat like this I think people start the day by saying I'll be fine, I'll be OK and just have a drink every now and then but just under estimate how hot and humid it actually is," he said.