Cyclone Penny likely to weaken

CYCLONE Penny is likely to weaken below tropical cyclone strength during the day today, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.

At 10am today the cyclone was located well to the east coast of Queensland, over the Coral Sea about 600km east of Willis Island and 1060km east of Cairns.

It is currently a category 1 cyclone, after having reached category 2 for a short time overnight on Thursday, before weakening.

In an information bulletin at at 11.40am today, the BOM said Penny would remain slow moving today, and then would most likely move westwards towards the coast from Sunday.

"Penny is unlikely to be an intense system when it reaches the coast but there remains a risk that it will produce gales and heavy rainfall in coastal areas during next week,” the BOM said.

BOM meteorologist Gordon Banks said it was not known where Penny would hit the Queensland coast, but it was expected somewhere between Mackay and Cairns.

While not expected to be a cyclone when it hits landfall, Penny is expected to bring rain with it.

"We will see an increase of rainfall affecting the central coast and the Whitsundays, Mr Banks said.