Severe tropical cyclone Jasper is set to gradually move towards the Queensland coast next week.
The Bureau of Meteorology says the currently category 3 intensity cyclone is expected strengthen further, while tracking south-south west into the Coral Sea on Thursday night.
BOM has forecast Jasper to reach high-end category 4 intensity later on Thursday and possibly category 5 on Thursday night.
BOM says Jasper is likely to weaken on the weekend, but will remain as a tropical cyclone next week.
"Jasper is forecast to gradually move in a general southwesterly track towards the Queensland coast early next week," BOM says its official statement issued on Thursday morning.
"At this stage the highest risk of a cyclone impact is the region north of Mackay but the timing and severity of the coastal impact remains highly uncertain at this stage."