Cyclone for Queensland on horizon, says weather forecaster

A CYCLONE will hit the north and mid coast of Queensland at the end of summer, Walker's Weather ­predicts.

Long-range weather forecaster Hayden Walker says a cyclone will form in January off the Queensland coast but will not pose a threat.

"However, the one to watch will be at the end of February into March," he said.

"I predicted Cyclone Debbie, Yasi, Oswald and Marcia."

Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Harry Clark said analysts were looking at an average tropical cyclone season.

"(We predict) around four (tropical cyclones) in the Coral Sea and one coastal crossing," he said.

The Bureau of Meteorology on Tuesday upgraded its El Nino Southern Oscillation Outlook from "warning" to "alert".

Mr Clark said there was now a 70 per cent chance of a La Nina ­forming in the tropical Pacific by the end of the year: three times the normal likelihood.

However, climate models ­suggest that any La Nina event is likely to be weak and short-lived due to competing climate influences from the Indian and western ­Pacific Ocean. Mr Clark said there were no strong signs at this stage suggesting there would be above-average rainfall.

But Walker's Weather disagrees. Mr Walker predicts that Townsville will experience above- average rainfall starting from next month.

"There will be beneficial falls from December through to ­February, but heavier falls for North Queensland won't be until March," he said.

"We are predicting outstanding rainfall in March."

TOOT TOOT: Queen's Baton on board our steam train

TOOT TOOT: Queen's Baton on board our steam train

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