Gulf of Carpentaria braces for potential cycloneSaturday January 19, 2013 - 08:52 EDT
A cyclone watch has been issued for communities along the eastern coast of Queensland's Gulf of Carpentaria.
The Bureau of Meteorology says a developing tropical low may intensify into a cyclone over the next two days, bringing gale-force winds and heavy rain to communities between Mornington West and Aurukun.
About 5:20am AEST, the system was estimated to be 235 kilometres west of Mornington Island and moving west at 16 kilometres per hour.
Senior forecaster Peter Otto says there is a high chance the system will develop into a cyclone tomorrow or on Monday.
"We have a severe weather warning out for the potential for heavy rainfall through that region and also some stronger winds," he said.
He said heavy rain and flash flooding is also expected around the east coast including Cooktown, Cairns, Innisfail and Cardwell.
"We've got the monsoon trough reaching across towards the north tropical coast area, and so we've got a severe weather warning out for very heavy rainfall for the north tropical coast area as well," he said.
© ABC 2013
More breaking news
Cooler weather conditions have slowed a bushfire burning through bushland on Eyre Peninsula in South Australia.
It is the last day of a heat spell that has baked New South Wales, and like cinema choc-tops, records continue to melt.
Long-term locals are concerned about the height of the Katherine River in the Northern Territory after successive poor wet seasons.