One cyclone could cross the Queensland coast this week in Gulf Country, but a second system could do a U-turn back out to sea.

A cyclone has formed in the Gulf of Carpentaria and another is brewing off Queensland’s east coast.

A tropical low developed into category one Cyclone Gillian late on Saturday night and was 170km west of Weipa on Sunday morning.

It is expected to intensify into a category two storm on Monday morning and a category three on Tuesday evening as it tracks towards the coast.

Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) forecaster Chris Joseph says it is unclear yet if it will make landfall.

“Some models suggest it will, others don’t. We’ll know in the next 24 hours,” Mr Joseph told AAP.

“There is a possibility of it crossing somewhere in Gulf Country in Queensland or the Northern Territory on Wednesday or Thursday.”

Destructive winds of up to 150km/h may develop on Sunday between Kowanyama and Cape York.

Meanwhile a tropical low about 370km off Townsville has been slow to develop.

It could turn into a category one cyclone on Monday, if at all.

“At the moment, our model guidance shows it will do a U-turn and stay away from the coast,” Mr Joseph said.

The twin cyclone threat comes after almost 80 per cent of the state was declared to be drought affected – the largest area in the state’s history.

While cyclone Gillian will bring reasonable falls around the Gulf Country, it doesn’t look like penetrating further inland where it is needed most, the BoM said.

“The closer to the coast, the higher the chance of reasonable rainfalls,” Mr Joseph said.