NORTH Queensland is now on high alert, with an increasing risk of a cyclone developing.
The Bureau of Meteorology's Tropical Cyclone Outlook for the Coral Sea is set to be increased from a low to moderate chance of development on Saturday. And the chance of a cyclone forming in the Coral Sea on Sunday to high.
Queensland regional director Bruce Gunn said a low-pressure system southeast of Papua New Guinea was forecast to develop and drift slowly southwest.
"While it may have been a slow start to the season, February and March are the peak months for tropical cyclone activity in the eastern region and Coral Sea with conditions becoming more favourable for development from Saturday onwards," Mr Gunn said.
"It's too early to speculate about the cyclone's intensity, forecast path and where it will make landfall, however, we will get a clearer picture in the coming days.
"Communities in north Queensland should begin their preparations now, stay tuned for latest official forecasts and warnings from the bureau, and follow the advice of local emergency services."
There have been three tropical cyclones this season, Yvette in December, Alfred in February and Blanche in March.
If a cyclone forms, it will be named Tropical Cyclone Caleb or Debbie.
The last tropical cyclone to cross the Queensland coast was Tropical Cyclone Nathan, which crossed near Cape Flattery, north of Cooktown in March 2015 as a category-four system.
Heavy rainfall is forecast to continue along the Queensland coast, with the heaviest falls in the Rockhampton and Capricornia region.
In the 24 hours to 9am yesterday, several sites recorded more than 100mm, with a peak of 224mm recorded at Pacific Heights, just north of Yeppoon.
The rain has had a mixed effect on dam levels across the region, with most in the southeast recording good input.
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