Queensland cyclone could form on Christmas Eve

AUSTRALIA could be in for its first cyclone of the summer - and chances are high it will hit Queensland's north west on Christmas Eve.

But unlike the country's most notorious Christmas Eve cyclone, Tracy, which caused widespread devastation to Darwin and claimed 71 lives in 1974, Cyclone Stan, as it would be known should it form, is unlikely to hit anywhere heavily populated.

The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a cyclone warning for the southern Gulf of Carpentaria and the western Cape York Peninsula, which climbs in risk from low on Monday, to moderate on Tuesday and high on Wednesday.

Forecaster Rick Threlfall said the risk remains high on Thursday, Christmas Eve.

The bureau determines high risk to be above a 50 per cent chance of a cyclone forming.

Brisbane Times