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Far north's big soaking likely to herald a cyclone

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Queensland’s fourth tropical cyclone of the season is likely to form in the Coral Sea next week with floods possible in saturated catchments, forecasters say.

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The Bureau of Meteorology said a tropical low will develop in the Coral Sea, east of the Cape York Peninsula, over the weekend.

Forecaster Kimba Wong said the system will likely intensify into a tropical cyclone next week, depending on atmospheric conditions.

“At this stage there is some uncertainty about the timing and position of this development, and the subsequent movement of the system,” she said.

The tropical low will lash far north and central Queensland with showers and thunderstorms predicted from Friday afternoon.

Wong said the location and intensity of the rainfall will depend on the movement of the system, but there will be potential flooding in saturated catchments following recent downpours.

“And I would encourage people to keep up to date with the latest on our website for the flooding situation. The warnings and any flood watches will be issued on our website as needed,” she said.

A flood warning for the Herbert River was downgraded on Thursday, but the river may flood again.

A minor flood warning is place for the lower Flinders River, while a protracted general flood warning continues for the Diamantina River.

Category 1 Cyclone Imogen, and category 2 cyclones Kimi and Lucas have already formed this season off Queensland.

The three previous storms either caused little damage or failed to make landfall.

-AAP

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