A tropical cyclone is forecast to form off the north Queensland coast late tonight as a deepening low moves into the Coral Sea.
The tropical low is currently 570 kilometres east of Cairns and 110 kilometres east northeast of Willis Island and is expected to continue to move south-east and strengthen into a category one cyclone late Friday night.
If it does form, it will be called Gretel.
Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) forecaster Rosa Hoff told the ABC that severe weather over the central and north Queensland coasts would ease.
“As the system moves away from the Queensland coast, the weather we’re seeing will actually ease back even though the cyclone will intensify,” Ms Hoff said.
“So far exposed parts of the coastline have experienced the heavier rainfall and particularly those damaging wind gusts.
“But as the system continues to track towards the south-east and away from Queensland’s coast, we will see those effects easing.”
Gales and strong gusts are predicted to affect coastal areas from Cooktown to Fraser Island on Friday and Saturday.
Tully had more than 190 millimetres of rain in the 24 hours to 9:00 am Thursday, while Innisfail aerodrome recorded 155mm.
“Strong winds will continue to be a concern for the coming days with gale wind warnings issued,” Ms Hoff said.
“We do have a flood watch current from the Cape York Peninsula, all the way down to Ingham.
“It’s likely we could see some flash flooding about parts … generally though as activity eases with the system moving away, we’re not expecting to see a drastic increase in floodwaters.”