SEVERE Tropical Cyclone Trevor is expected to cross the coast of the Cape York Peninsula tonight as a high-end category three system.
The cyclone formed on Monday and is intensifying as it moves toward the coast.
The cyclone will most likely cross as a high end category 3 system, but further intensification to category 4 cannot be ruled out.
It is expected to cross south of the Lockhart River tonight, bringing heavy rain and packing wind gusts up to 220km/h.
A cyclone warning is in place for communities from Cape Flattery on the east coast to Pormpuraaw on the west and north to Oxford Ness.
A flood watch is in place for catchments north of Cairns to Kowanyama.
BoM Meteorologist Adam Morgan said the cyclone would be destructive.
"Gales will increase across the coast today, well ahead of landfall with very destructive wind gusts as high as 220km/h near the centre of the system," Dr Morgan said.
"The rain risk extends further south of the system in Far North Queensland and a flood watch is in place right across the Cape north of Cairns to Kowanyama.
"Although Trevor may weaken a little as it moves across the Cape and into the Gulf it remains a very dangerous system with those wind, rain and storm tide impacts continuing."
Tropical cyclone Trevor will weaken as it crosses the northern Peninsula tonight and Wednesday, but may remain a category one cyclone until it enters the Gulf of Carpentaria later on Wednesday.
"Trevor is then forecast to reintensify quickly in the Gulf later this week," Dr Morgan said.
"Cyclones in the Gulf are notoriously erratic so the forecast track and intensity may change a lot between now and then."
Dr Morgan said the cyclone may move south-west in the Gulf toward Groote Island.
The cyclone is unlikely to impact flood devastated areas in the north west, or bring significant rainfall to Townsville.
It is the fourth cyclone to impact North Queensland this season and is following a similar path to Cyclone Owen, which formed on December 2.
It crossed the coast as a low pressure system north of Cairns before reforming in the Gulf.
It tracked back and crossed near Kowanyama as a category weak category three system on December 15.
Ex-cyclone Owen was downgraded to a low pressure system shortly after making landfall and brought widespread rain to areas of the northern coast.
The town of Halifax near Ingham was dumped with a record-breaking 681mm in just 24 hours, making it the wettest December day anywhere in Australia on record.