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Bureau warns cyclone could move close to Queensland next week 

The Bureau of Meteorology says a tropical cyclone has a high chance of forming near the Solomon Islands and could move close to the Queensland coast next week. 

A tropical low, which is tracking west over the Solomon Islands in the Australian area of responsibility today, has a 55% chance of intensifying into a cyclone by tomorrow night and a 70% chance of reaching cyclone strength on Wednesday morning. 

By Wednesday, it should be tracking southwards towards the north eastern Coral Sea and could intensify into a severe tropical cyclone from Thursday. It’s likely to move through central parts of the Coral Sea on the weekend. 

“Recent guidance indicates [the cyclone] could move close to the Queensland coast next week,” the bureau says in an update this morning. 

The cyclone would be the first this season in Australia’s territory, after Tropical Cyclone Lola was previously monitored following its naming by the Fiji Meteorological Service in October. 

Lola, which formed ahead of the November start to the season, remained well away from the eastern Australian coast.