Residents of Cairns to the tip of Cape York in Australia's Queensland have been advised to brace for potential for heavy rain and strong winds as a low pressure brewing in the state could likely develop into Cyclone Zane.
Lauren Murphy, Bureau of Meteorology forecaster, said the low pressure, 940km east-north-east off Cairns, is highly likely to form into a cyclone within the next 24 hours.
"There are already strong wind warnings current for parts of the tropical Queensland coast," she said.
"It has showed signs of development over the past 12 hours and (the system) is in a favourable environment for further development."
On Wednesday, it is expected to cross the coast somewhere between Torres Strait and Cook Town and move towards the Northern Territory. But forecasters said the low pressure is unlikely to reach a category three system.
"We are expecting it to be on the weaker scale of cyclones if it does form," Ms Murphy said.
Rainfall is expected to drop close to the core due to a lack of monsoon flow. This meant Cairns will unlikely face any significant impact aside from higher winds and scattered showers, www.cairns.com.au reported.
Although Cooktown Mayor Peter Scott said "it would actually be nice to get some decent rain,'' he fears its timing will hamper ongoing road repairs in Cairns which were being fast tracked in time for tourist season.
"If we did get any sort of major rain, it may hamper efforts out there.''
Other areas like Lockhart River could also be affected over the next few days, senior forecaster Amber Young said.
"Not moving anywhere particularly fast - in fact we will see it drift a little further south during this morning and potentially move in a south-westerly direction for the remainder of today but still well offshore from the Australian coastline," she said.