10.45AM: A tropical cyclone could develop out of the powerful storms over the Sunshine Coast this morning, the Bureau of Meteorology says.
Forecasters say there is a low chance (5-20%) that a tropical cyclone will develop in the next 24 hours.
The bureau has warned of up to 300mm of rain and wind gusts in excess of 90kmh today and into tomorrow.
Bureau forecaster Tony Auden said the weather pattern, which has already dumped up to 300mm in some areas, had characteristics of a tropical storm.
He said there was an "outside chance" it would become a tropical cyclone.
However, the impact is expected to be significant regardless.
The storm is expected to move south over the next six hours and then move north again overnight.
Heavy rain is likely on the Sunshine Coast and Wide Bay areas.
There are warnings of damaging wind gusts in excess of 90kmh between Maroochydore and Hervey Bay.
One of the technicalities of a tropical cyclone is strong winds all around the weather system. The low over the Sunshine Coast currently only has strong gusts in a few areas.
Mr Auden said there was a threat of flash flooding with falls in excess of 200mm likely over the next 24 hours.
Parts have received more than 300mm in the 24 hours to 9am today and Mr Auden said it was "not unreasonable to think that could happen again".
The storm will be closely monitored and likely to ease tomorrow.