Temperatures across the southern states of Australia are set to slowly rise today before intense heat returns tomorrow and parts of the weekend.
There's been a brief respite midweek after scorching temperatures earlier had aided bushfire outbreaks in numerous areas as winds peaked at 100kph.
While Australia is dealing with hot temperatures and bushfires, the US has discovered it's just had its warmest year on record.
Last summer was particularly hot and in some cases the start of winter was relatively mild and pushed temperatures well above the usual average.
Not a forecast video but instead Philip Duncan takes a look at why conditions around New Zealand are so changeable this summer, why it's windy, when or if the wind will ease, how busy are the tropics and why this big heat wave is in Australia.
As expected warm to hot temperatures have hit parts of the country today.
Dunedin Airport is just on 30 degrees, Ashburton very close and other inland centres have also warmed up nicely this afternoon.
Sunny conditions are over 75% of the country and temperatures could climb even more before the afternoon is out.
Latest weather headlines from New Zealand and around the world.
Weather headlines from here and across the world
Cyclone Freda appears to be heading south and not on course towards New Zealand. New Caledonia was hit overnight and should still feel the effects today and tomorrow.
The category four cyclone is expected to eventually move out into the Coral Sea and disappear.
NASA has snapped its most amazing self-portrait yet of the Curiosity rover on Mars, showing the robot posing with its ultimate destination: a huge Martian mountain.
There's some concern about a new development that has formed into a cyclone and labelled Freda but not all meteorological agencies have even firmed up on the name or the status of this system yet.
Christmas 2012 will long be remembered in the USA for wicked weather.
But usually, bad weather on Christmas means snow, ice and cold. This year, not only were the winter aspects of the weather a problem, summer-time severe weather reared its ugly head too.
Some beautiful messages to Santa, many will make you laugh, a couple may make you cry, and some make you stop and think for a bit. Read what Kiwi kids - and a handful of children overseas - had to say on Christmas Eve to Santa!