Tropical Cyclone Kimi is currently moving slowly south off the Tropical North Queensland coast but is expected to turn southwest and hit land on Monday afternoon.
“Considerable uncertainty” remains with the crossing time and location.
The cyclone may intensify over the next 24 hours and could reach Category 2 before crossing.
The warning zone currently covers Cape Melville to Cardwell, extending inland to Palmerville and Chillagoe, including Cooktown, Port Douglas, Cairns, and Innisfail.
People within this area should immediately commence or continue preparations, especially securing boats and property using available daylight hours.
BOM information as of 4:00pm
Intensity: Category 1. Sustained winds near the centre of 75 kilometres per hour with wind gusts up to 100 kilometres per hour.
Location: 175 kilometres north northeast of Cairns, 135 kilometres east of Cooktown.
Movement: South at 9 kilometres per hour.
Destructive winds with gusts to 130 km/h may develop about coastal and island areas between Cooktown and Innisfail on Monday as the core of the cyclone approaches.
Gales with gusts to 120km/h may develop about coastal and island areas between Cape Melville and Cardwell from early Monday morning. These gales may extend inland to Palmerville and Chillagoe on Monday as the cyclone moves inland.
Heavy rainfall is forecast to develop about coastal and adjacent inland areas between Cape Flattery and Cardwell from Sunday evening. A Flood Watch is current for this area.
Abnormally high tides are likely on Sunday night and Monday as the cyclone approaches and crosses the coast, however they are unlikely to exceed the highest tide of the year.
Cairns residents are being urged to familiarise themselves with the Cairns Disaster Dashboard.
Bringing together information from Council, BOM, emergency services, utilities, road status updates, and traffic and flood cams, it is a single point of reference for information and advice during a disaster.
Cairns Local Disaster Management Group Chair Cr Terry James said the user-friendly dashboard allows residents to keep themselves informed during a natural disaster.
“During an emergency the dashboard is updated in real time with things like road closures, power outages and notifications of any shelters that may be opened,” Cr James said.
The Cairns Botanic Gardens and the Arrow tracks on Mt Whitfield are currently closed until further notice, while the Daintree Ferry will close from midnight tonight.