200mm falls predicted as state braces for cyclone

The Bureau of Meteorology is monitoring a developing low off the north tropical coast, which is likely to develop into a cyclone early to mid next week.

The low in the Coral Sea, just offshore of Cooktown, is expected to form into tropical cyclone Mirin on late Tuesday afternoon.

The chance of heavy rain is likely to increase over the coming hours, with areas such as Hamilton Island copping up to 50mm tonight. From Sunday some locations could be in for falls of up to 200mm.

"We'll be looking at around 100-150mm per day in areas to north of Mackay to about Cairns on that coastal strip, with the main focus on the Cassowary Coast and around Bowen as well as that northern part of the central coast," meteorologist Ricus Lombard said.

Meanwhile, average temperatures have returned to southeast Queensland after a brief but powerful heatwave made its way through parts of the state last week.

"Southeast Queensland is no longer in a heatwave," Mr Lombard said.

"It's pretty much near average temperatures. Next storms will be on Tuesday again with some cooler temperatures returning from Wednesday."

Originally published as 200mm falls predicted as state braces for cyclone