Tropical Cyclone Owen forecast to "intensify further"

Smoke from the fire on North Stradbroke Island could affect the southeast

Camera Icon Smoke from the fire on North Stradbroke Island could affect the

Category One Cyclone Owen is moving away from the far north Queensland coast and early on Monday was about 1000km east of Cairns.

Cyclone Owen has formed in the Coral Sea and will linger there for several days as a lower end Tropical Cyclone or tropical depression.

What this means is that we'll see the low - now about 1000 km offshore from Cairns to the ENE - continue to develop throughout this afternoon, and then likely reach Category 1 tropical cyclone intensity by late tonight.

The Category 1 system will deepen overnight and could become a Category 2 tomorrow. This will be the first tropical cyclone for the 2018/19 season in the Australian region and will take the name "Owen" as soon as it reaches cyclone strength.

The bureau's Queensland state manager Bruce Gunn said best predictions showed the cyclone would drift slowly to the southwest but remain offshore, weaken and be downgraded by Wednesday.

That stated a less active season than average was likely, due to the possible development of El Nino weather patterns in the Pacific Ocean and near average ocean temperatures to the north and east of Australia.

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