Warnings have been issued along a significant coastal stretch in far-north Queensland with a tropical cyclone expected form as early as Tuesday evening.
The Bureau of Meteorology has advised on likely coastal impact from Wednesday night, with the current watch zone covering the areas between Cairns and St Lawrence (around a two hour drive north of Rockhampton).
This includes the Aboriginal community of Palm Island (Bwgcolman), 65 kms north-east of Townsville.
"A tropical low (05U) has been developing slowly in the central Coral Sea and is expected to become a tropical cyclone overnight Tuesday or during Wednesday. This system is forecast to track southwest, towards the Queensland coast, over the next few days as it intensifies," the BOM said on Tuesday morning.
"The system is forecast to cross the Queensland coast most likely overnight Thursday between Cardwell and Airlie Beach. The chance of a severe tropical cyclone on landfall remains but has decreased. From Friday, the system is forecast to move further south over inland parts as a tropical low."
Damaging wind gusts as high as 150 km an hour, heavy rainfall and possible flash flooding all may develop.
Parts of the state's north are still recovering from the impacts of December's Tropical Cyclone Jasper, which saw homes destroyed and hundreds of residents from the Aboriginal Community of Wujal Wujal evacuated.
Extreme weather has also hit areas in the Northern Territory and Western Australia in recent weeks.
Wujal Wujal and the nearby Cooktown are not within the current identified watch zone.
On Tuesday morning State Disaster Coordinator Deputy Commissioner Shane Chelepy said the state disaster coordination centre "and all our communities" are preparing from Cannes down to Mackay for a potential crossing and the flooding event and rain event that will follow this cyclone.
Commissioner Chelepy directed people towards local council disaster management and Get Ready Queensland websites for latest updates, with urges to keep petrol topped up in cars, having enough food for 72 hours and having charging packs for mobile phones.
He also recommended holiday travellers to reconsider their plans.
"We know in events like this it can take up to 72 hours before emergency services can get out and assist you," Commissioner Chelepy said.
"But no matter what you do, please stay in contact with our emergency services."
Queensland Premier Stephen Miles said emergency services felt the strain of recent emergencies.
"We dealt with two disasters during December and now expect possibly two more over the coming weekend," Mr Miles told AAP.
"We've worked really hard to give our emergency services ... a break between those disasters to roster them off on fatigue leave so that they're ready to go again.
"We will need assistance from other states and from the Australian government."
Emergency Services: Call 000