A category one tropical cyclone has developed off the north Queensland coast.
A category one tropical cyclone has developed off the north Queensland coast.

Tropical cyclone develops off Qld coast

North Queensland residents are bracing for days of gale force winds and heavy rainfall after tropical cyclone Niran formed off the coast.

In an update shortly after 5am Queensland time, the Bureau of Meteorology said the system had been upgraded to category one, and was moving slowly northeast away from the coast.

Over the coming days, the cyclone could be upgraded to a category three.

A warning zone is current from Cape Flattery to Lucinda.

As of 5.30am, the system was 235km northeast of Cairns, and tracking northeast at 15 km/h.

The Bureau said the cyclone was expected to continue moving slowly to the northeast during Tuesday, before "slow -moving or drifting back slowly to the west into Wednesday."

"Niran is expected to continue intensifying over the following two days," the Bureau's warning said.

"A coastal crossing by the core of the cyclone is not expected, however gales may develop within the warning zone late this evening or Wednesday morning if the cyclone adopts a track further to the west."

The Bureau said the cyclone was expected to take a south-easterly track away from the coast from Thursday.

Heavy rainfall has eased along the north tropical coast, but could redevelop late on Tuesday evening and into Wednesday if the cyclone tracks closer to the coast.

The Bureau has issued a flood watch and several warnings along the north coast between Cooktown and Rollingstone.

Originally published as Tropical cyclone develops off Qld coast


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