Flooding in Cairns after serious rainfall in the far north in December. Picture: Stewart McLean
Flooding in Cairns after serious rainfall in the far north in December. Picture: Stewart McLean

Cyclone warning issued as Far North braces for New Year

FAR North Queensland is likely to welcome 2019 with a bang.

A category two cyclone is predicted to form on Tuesday.

A cyclone warning has been issued for a stretch of coast from Cape Keerweer to Cape York, taking in the communities of Weipa, Aurukun, and Mapoon.

A broader "watch" alert remains in place for people living in the area from Kowanyama up to the Torres Strait Islands.

"It is currently in an environment where there is a high chance it will turn into a tropical cyclone by early tomorrow morning," a Bureau of Meteorology spokeswoman said.

"It could be tonight, but more likely to be early tomorrow morning."

Residents can expect peak gusts of more than 90km/h on Monday with heavy rainfall expected to cause flash flooding over the coming days.

The system is currently over the Gulf of Carpentaria and moving west but is expected to turn back towards the Queensland coast tomorrow.

As the tropical low develops, it's possible gale-force winds could extend southwards to Kowanyama on Tuesday.

The low is expected to dump heavy rainfall across Far North Queensland in the coming days, which could cause flash flooding.

Tides are expected to heighten through the Torres Strait.

Severe summer of storms: Experts predict a severe season of storms.

It is possible that some Torres Strait islands may see water levels that exceed the Highest Astronomical Tide on the high tides on Monday and Tuesday.

A flood watch remains current for coastal catchments north of Cardwell, including catchments across the Cape York Peninsula.