AN intense cyclone spinning in the northern Coral Sea has been upgraded and is forecast to strengthen even further before potentially crossing the north Queensland coast over the weekend.
Severe Tropical Cyclone Ita was upgraded to Category 3 strength around 10am on Tuesday and is now forecast to intensify into a Category 4 storm by Friday.
The system currently sits approximately 1080km east of Lockhart River, and 1000 km northeast of Cairns with a central pressure reading of 973 hPa,
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For now, Ita is expected to remain too far offshore to have any significant influence on the weather along the Queensland coast.
However, the Weather Bureau warns the threat may increase over Cape York Peninsula later in the week as the system moves closer to the coast.