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Fraser Barton

Season's first tropical cyclone could impact Qld coast

Cyclone Jasper might move near the Queensland coast from early next week, the weather bureau says. (Jason O'BRIEN/AAP PHOTOS)

The first tropical cyclone of the season has formed in the Pacific, with meteorologists warning it's expected to intensify and could move near the Queensland coast.

Tropical Cyclone Jasper is currently a slow-moving category one weather system about 1500 km northeast of Cairns, the Bureau of Meteorology says.

But it's expected to strengthen and become a severe category three tropical cyclone on Wednesday as it tracks south-southwest towards the northeast Coral Sea.

"There is a potential for tropical cyclone Jasper to move near the Queensland coast next week (but) there is large uncertainty as to which parts of the Queensland coast will be impacted," senior meteorologist Dean Narramore said on Tuesday.

"The bureau will issue regular updates to keep communities informed as the situation evolves over the coming days."

Meteorologist Steven Hadley said some modelling suggested Jasper could travel south and cross the coast near Brisbane as a tropical low.

"But more likely than not, it would be in the tropical areas of Queensland ... it's just really too early to say just yet," he told ABC radio.

The bureau's technical bulletin said recent guidance favoured a scenario where Jasper approached the Queensland coast between Cooktown and Mackay next week.

"A small amount of guidance has a more southerly track, consequently moving the system towards the Queensland coast, south of Mackay," it said.

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