Terrifying footage taken from the International Space Station shows Cyclone Debbie forming just off the far north coast of Queensland.

The category four cyclone is the worst to hit Queensland since Yasi six years ago, and is expected to make landfall south of Bowen at midday on today.

The footage, uploaded to YouTube by Force 13, plays at five times normal speed as the station hovers over the devastating cyclone from outer space, according to the Daily Mail.

Huge swirling grey clouds are seen billowing off the coastline, capturing the beauty and immense power of the cyclone as it slowly closes in on north Queensland.


The Whitsunday Islands are being lashed by 180km/h winds as Cyclone Debbie bears down on state's north coast, where it has already cut power, snapped trees and sent roofing iron tumbling down the streets of mainland towns.

Authorities are warning people in the 600km/h danger zone of a long day ahead, with Debbie's wide and slow-moving core of destructive winds expected to take hours to pass.

On the mainland, residents from Bowen, south to Airlie Beach, Proserpine, Mackay and Sarina say weather conditions have deteriorated, as Debbie starts to put her power on show.

Electricity has already been lost in some communities, and heavy rain has been lashing the north Queensland coast since Monday.

Source: Instagram/@beck_berger

The latest tracking map from the weather bureau still suggests an almost direct hit on Bowen, with the core expected to pass slightly to the south of the town.

The later landfall time is good news because it will no longer coincide with the high tide around 9.40am (AEST) and may reduce the size of the tidal surge Debbie will generate.

Authorities are expected to provide an update shortly about conditions in the north, including the likely size of the storm surge, which it had been feared could be up to 2.5 metres above the highest astronomical tide.

Low-lying Mackay, where 25,000 people have been evacuated, was considered most at risk from the tidal surge.