The Bureau of Meteorology will fast track work on a new weather radar directly in the firing line of Tropical Cyclone Jasper. Preparations are being made across North Queensland as the category three system rolls towards the coast. But the Mackay weather radar has been offline since June 1, making it difficult for those in the region to get up to date data on weather systems. A BoM spokesperson said they were aiming to have the new radar go live on Friday, December 8. "The Bureau is currently undertaking significant work to improve Queensland radar infrastructure," a spokesperson said. "Bureau engineers are working hard to fast-track the return to service earlier than scheduled due to the current weather in the region." Cyclone Jasper's intensity has taken meteorologists by surprise, with initial forecasts on Wednesday afternoon predicting the system would only intensify to a category four by Friday. However, the severe cyclone is now forecast to reach "high end category four intensity" late this afternoon, and possibly a category five by tonight. "Severe Tropical Cyclone Jasper is expected to strengthen further and track south-southwest into the Coral Sea overnight," a spokesperson said. "During the weekend, Tropical Cyclone Jasper is likely to weaken a little, but it will still be a tropical cyclone as it tracks towards the North Queensland coast early next week. "At this stage, the highest risk of a cyclone impact is in the region north of Mackay. "Communities in the region north of Mackay are advised to review their cyclone plan."