Cyclone Oma has weakened to a category two storm but continues to move towards the southeast Queensland coast.
Authorities are warning people not to panic but prepare because the system is expected to bring gale force winds and heavy rainfall.
Oma was located less than 1000km northeast of Brisbane at 1600 AEST on Wednesday, tracking slowly towards Queensland at about 10km/h.
Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Adam Blazak said there was still disagreement about which path the storm would take, but it could make landfall on the weekend.
"A crossing is not certain yet, and there are scenarios where it may linger off the coast," he told AAP.
Mr Blazak said the weather system was already bringing hazardous surf conditions and abnormally high tides.
The longer it stays offshore, the greater the potential damage to beaches as waves of up to six metres pound the shoreline.
Some coastal areas could be lashed by 90kmh winds and daily rainfall totals of up to 300mm if the cyclone continues its current path.
Mr Blazak said it could also potentially bring much-needed rain to drought-affected inland areas of the southeast corner.
"You don't really want a crossing," he said.
"But that would be maybe a better scenario than if it lingers off the coast.
"It would end up decaying and dropping rainfall in those dry areas."
A severe weather warning remains in place from the Fraser Coast to the NSW border.
Australian Associated Press