The Bureau of Meteorology is predicting increased rainfall in Katherine from the middle of next week as a tropical low off the Gulf of Carpentaria continues to intensify.
Moving slowly, the tropical low is currently sitting over water north east of Groote Eylandt and is expected to reach cyclone strength early tomorrow morning.
Todd Smith from the Bureau of Meteorology said he is expecting the cyclone to reach a category two before crossing the coast on Monday.
A tropical cyclone watch is current for Northern Territory coastal and island communities between Nhulunbuy and Karumba in Queensland.
About 650km from Katherine, the remote community of Borroloola is also on standby.
The small town on the McArthur River was evacuated to Katherine late in March last year as Tropical Cyclone Trevor lashed through.
"The tropical low off the Gulf of Carpentaria is continuing to intensify. It has been very slow moving over the last 24 hours," Mr Smith said.
"It is still not tropical cyclone strength, but we do have a strengthening low located about 250km to the east of Groote Eylandt.
"Our expectations over the next 24 hours is for that system to remain slow moving, but continue to intensify likely to reach cyclone intensity on Sunday before taking a more southerly or south westerly track down towards the south coast of the Gulf of Carpenteria."
If the low does reach cyclone strength as expected it will be known as Esther.
The BOM has issued a marine wind warning for the Arafura Coast, Gove Peninsula Coast and Roper Groote Coast.
And a flood watch remains in place for the Carpentaria Coastal Rivers, where widespread flooding is possible from Monday.
Mr Smith said the developing system has "pinched" the majority of rain from the Darwin and Katherine regions.
But the Bureau has predicted an increase in rainfall from the middle of next week as the system tracks back across the Top End.
"Longer term, the system is likely to track across the west across the base of the Top End bringing plenty of rainfall to that Northern Barkley area, through the Carpenteria eventually into the Victoria River district," Mr Smith said.
[It] will also increase the general rainfall across the Top End.Todd Smith, Bureau of Meteorology
Severe thunderstorms may occur across eastern parts of the Top End today.
For cyclone safety and preparation advice head to www.securent.nt.gov.au.
While you're with us, you can now receive updates straight to your inbox each Friday at 6am from the Katherine Times. To make sure you're up to date with all the news, sign up here.