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Forecast Shows Cyclone Jasper Could Reach Category Three On Wednesday

Tropical Cyclone Jasper tracking towards the Queensland coast could become a category three by as early as Wednesday night.

Cyclones of category three strength can reach winds of up to 159km/h and gusts of 224km/h.

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“It is expected to intensify, becoming a severe tropical cyclone during Wednesday while tracking south-southwest towards the northeast Coral Sea,” the Bureau of Meteorology said in its cyclone information.

Cyclone Jasper could then reach category four by Saturday, bringing winds of up to 199km/h and gusts of 279km/h.

It is the first cyclone of the season to form in Australia waters, appearing earlier than expected following the declaration of an El Nino this summer.

“In terms of El Nino, we typically see less cyclones and we also see the cyclone season starting a bit later,” senior meteorologist Laura Boekel told the ABC.

Cyclone Jasper is slow moving, tracking south southeast about seven km/h.

There is uncertainty of which parts of the Queensland coast could be affected, but as of 4am on Wednesday, Cyclone Jasper was about 1470km east northeast of Cairns.

Should its effects by felt by Australia, it could bring gales, heavy rain, and a potential storm surge.

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