North Queensland is almost certain to be back on cyclone alert this weekend as a tropical low about 700km north-east of Mackay deepens.
The low is developing very slowly and barely moving.
Senior forecaster with the Tropical Cyclone Warning Centre, Jonty Hall said it was considered a “pretty high” probability of developing into Cyclone Jasper tomorrow or Sunday.
“It’s still in a pretty good environment to develop into a cyclone,” Mr Hall said.
He said it was too early to say which direction the cyclone would go.
“There are strong winds along the coast already from Cooktown right down to Sandy Cape and a gale warning between Ayr and St Lawrence,” he said.
“That’s indirectly associated with the low out there and due to a pretty firm ridge on the south-eastern coast. The two systems are producing the strong winds.”
Mr Hall said it was not unusual for cyclones to develop this late in the season.
“It’s three years to the day that Cyclone Larry hit north Queensland and we have seen cyclones develop as late as April.”