Over 20 degree difference between Northland and Southland this morning (+Photos)

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Updated -- There's a huge contrast in morning temperatures across New Zealand today with over 20 degrees separating the north from the south as sub-tropical rain pushes down over northern regions and the cold air left over from last week's southerly remains stuck over the south.

Big low moves closer to NZ bringing rain, isolated thunder - sunniest in the south (+4 Maps)

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Heavy rain and gales affected Northland on Saturday now heavy rain is crossing Auckland and will continue to track southwards down the island today. Winds have eased further north as the complicated low, that is broken up with areas of wind and rain but also large areas of cloudy but dry and calm too.

Queen's Birthday Weather - Large low looms, we break it down for you (+6 Maps)

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A large low will slowly drift into New Zealand this long weekend and is deepening as it does so. There may be some localised pockets of rough weather amongst it all.

Here are the main highlights...

Weather Video: Queen’s Birthday Weekend weather + another cold blast next week

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Our last nationwide holiday in almost half a year is upon us and the forecast is, sadly for many, going downhill a bit - but don’t worry, it’s not all doom and gloom.

PHOTOS x 4: Hoar frosts make for beautiful icy white landscapes in the south

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A cold clear night with sub zero temperatures leads to frosts, add some fog to the mix and you end up with a hoar frost. The small particles of moisture freeze to surfaces like trees, fences and powerlines.

Unsettled long weekend on the way as large low develops - for most, not for all (+5 Maps)

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It is mostly sunny and calm across a large portion of New Zealand today but things will change as we head into late Friday as a nor'easter develops ahead of a large low pressure system for the long weekend.

Today a high pressure system will actually continue to be stronger and on Friday will continue to cover New Zealand, but is slipping away towards evening.

Weather Video: Big low for the long weekend, cold snap kicks off next week

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The winds are about to get warmer as they swing from polar southerlies start of this week to sub-tropical northerlies by the end of Friday.

Over the weekend a large low in the Tasman Sea will spread rain and wind down over the North Island and into the upper and eastern South Island (may only be a few showers in the eastern South Island).

Weather Video: Big low for the big long weekend

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The timing is fairly typical, isn’t it? A big high during the working week that gives way to a big low for the long weekend.

Frosts, now fog too as high continues to drift over NZ (+2 Maps)

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High pressure continues to cross the country and while clear skies and frosts were on the cards for many this morning there's fog in the mix now too. The combination of fog and cold nights will be especially miserable for those outdoors around parts of the southern South Island.

Frosts tonight, heavy in the South Island and creeping as far north as Auckland (+3 Maps)

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When there's ice on cars north of Auckland you know it must be freezing cold further south and that was the case this morning and will be the case again overnight as the coldest part of this southerly event now grips New Zealand.