shows potential Cyclone Penny on Thursday January 3. shows potential Cyclone Penny on Thursday January 3.

Cyclone Penny could form on New Year’s Day

ALL eyes are on a slow-moving tropical low which the Bureau says has a moderate chance of developing into a cyclone by New Year's Day.

At 10am Sunday, the low was located near the far north Queensland coast, about 65km south-southeast of Lockhart River.

The tropical low is situated along a strengthening monsoon trough, which extends across the northern Gulf of Carpentaria and Coral Sea.

"The tropical low is forecast to deepen today while moving in a westwards direction across Cape York Peninsula and it is possible that it may move into the Gulf of Carpentaria during Monday," the bureau's cyclone outlook says.

"There are indications that the low may take a track back towards the northwest Coral Sea over the coming days and as a result there remains a moderate chance of it forming into a tropical cyclone in the Coral Sea."

The bureau rates the chances of a cyclone forming in the Gulf of Carpentaria more likely, with a moderate chance of one developing Monday or Tuesday.

Meanwhile, heavy rain is still falling in Far North Queensland, breaking long-term weather records.

The Bureau of Meteorology has reported 1.5m of rainfall since the start of December at Daintree Village - eclipsing a previous December record of 900mm set in 1973.

Cairns Airport has received its highest ever rainfall for the soggy month, with 754.4mm filling the rain gauge, as has Cooktown with 675.6mm.

A severe weather warning has been issued for damaging winds and heavy rainfall for people in the Peninsula and parts of North Tropical Coast and Tablelands.

Areas of heavy rainfall, which may lead to flash flooding, are likely across far north Queensland during Sunday and Monday. Six hourly rainfall totals between 120mm to 180mm are likely and isolated, heavier falls are possible with any thunderstorm activity. A Flood Watch remains current for coastal catchments north of Cardwell, including catchments across the Cape York Peninsula.

Damaging winds, with peak gusts in excess of 90km/h, are possible across far north Queensland from later this afternoon. These damaging winds are expected to become more likely into Monday, particularly about Torres Strait and Cape York.

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