Cyclone Jasper is set to cross the Queensland coast along a 600km stretch of the far north Queensland coast between Cape Flattery and Cardwell on Wednesday.
Latest advice from the Bureau of Meteorology suggests the now category 1 cyclone will maintain at a tropical cyclone intensity as it tracks westwards.
However, the system is forecast to intensify to category 2, before crossing the Queensland coast.
Jasper is currently travelling at about 20km/hour with sustained winds near its centre of 85km/hour with gusts to 120km/hour.
BOM says damaging 90km/hour winds are expected to develop between Cooktown and Cardwell, including Cairns from Tuesday.
The damaging winds may extend as far south as Townsville or as far north as Cape Melville depending on the movement of Jasper.
BOM has also issued a separate severe weather warning for damaging winds for the coast between Ayr and Mackay.
Weather website zoom.earth shows a Jasper's 'cone of influence' with a focal point on about Cairns.
BOM's eight day mapping shows higher rainfall totals resulting from the tropical storm are likely to be contained to the far north.
Parts of Cape York Peninsula can expect totals of 150-200mm, with heavier falls on the coast.
While there will be cloud over much of Australia, the best falls in the north are in the 10-50mm range, while much of the inland can expect only 1-5mm.
The exception is South Australia and Victoria, which continues to receive a drenching.
BOM says there is a moderate chance Jasper could redevelop in the Gulf of Carpentaria during Friday or over the weekend.