Australia Weather News

A tropical low is set to develop in the north-west Coral Sea off north Queensland over the weekend and is likely to intensify into a cyclone.

Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) forecaster Kimba Wong said it was not clear where the system might sit as it intensified or what its direction of movement would be.

"Atmospheric conditions are ripe for tropical cyclone development," she said.

"It will very much depend on how far it is offshore — the interaction with land can be quite a significant impediment.

"But there is quite a high chance we'll see that development over the next week."

Showers and thunderstorms will increase over Queensland's tropical north and central coast from late Friday and over the weekend.

'Already wet catchments'

Depending on how much the system intensifies, there is potential for heavy rainfall, probably around the tropical north-east.

"We have got a trough of low pressure over the north-west Coral Sea, and that already has been bringing some significant rainfall totals to the area," Ms Wong said.

"Particularly in the last 24 hours, we had just over 100 millimetres in the South Mission Beach area.

"Those higher totals have been confined very much to the coastal strip over the last 24 hours, which is certainly a good thing for the time being, given that we have had quite significant rainfall in the area earlier in the week that caused some major flooding, so very wet catchments up in the north-east of the state at the moment.

"Just exactly where that low decides to sit will largely determine the focus for any heavier rainfall over the next couple of days, with a potential for further subsequent follow-up rainfall over those already wet catchments."

A flood watch has been issued for the North Tropical Coast between Mission Beach and Rollingstone.

Possible heavy rainfall in central and southern regions

Showers and thunderstorms could bring some locally heavy falls over the central and southern interior of Queensland today, with chances reducing tomorrow.

Ms Wong said there was a very moist atmosphere and a surface trough triggering the weather over the state's southern interior.

"Over the last 24 hours we have seen some really healthy rainfall totals across the southern interior parts of the state," she said.

Between 10 to 40 millimetres fell across the Maranoa-Warrego region.

Dirranbandi, south-west of Toowoomba, recorded its highest rainfall total since 2016, with 59mm.

The highest rainfall was 70mm at Fenton, south of Dirranbandi, near the New South Wales border.

For south-east Queensland, temperatures are set to increase into next week, with the possibility of thunderstorms dropping off later in the week.

ABC