Severe Tropical Cyclone Jasper has strengthened to a category 4 system as it tracks towards the Queensland coast.
The cyclone is over the Coral Sea about 1250km north-east of Cairns, as of 4am AEST on December 8, with winds of 185 km per hour near the centre.
During the weekend Jasper is expected to turn west towards the north Queensland coast, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.
The forecast map shows the highest risk of Jasper crossing between Cooktown and Townsville, but the timing and severity of impact is still "highly uncertain".
Jasper is expected to weaken somewhat as it moves towards the Queensland coast, but the risk of re-intensification and severe impacts remain.
Severe Tropical Cyclone Jasper is the first of the season in Australia's Area of Responsibility.
"This is a good reminder for everyone along the Queensland coast to check your tropical cyclone plan," the Bureau's senior meteorologist Angus Hines said.
The Bureau is providing regular updates with forecast information and track maps available bom.gov.au/cyclone/index.shtml
In Australia the tropical cyclone season is from November 1 to April 30.
The most cyclone-prone area is the WA coast between Broome and Exmouth, but northern Queensland and the Northern Territory are also often impacted.
There were six tropical cyclones during the 2022-23 season.
The last for the season was Severe Tropical Cyclone Ilsa which crossed over the Western Australian coast at Pardoo, 150km north of Port Hedland as a category five system in April.