USA - El Niño now 'one of the strongest ever' - what next?

The current strong El Niño will weaken into the spring, but its impacts will persist through the winter, according to the latest monthly outlook issued Thursday by NOAA.

Australia: Floods send snakes into towns

The recent Hunter floods and storms have sent deadly snakes slithering, seeking refuge in places they are not wanted.

Last week's big downpour, along with rain in recent days, has flushed snakes out of their normal hiding places, forcing them to find dry places to escape rising waters.

Raymond Terrace and Maitland were among the areas hardest hit areas.

POLL RESULTS: A wet summer not what kiwis expected

With one and a half months of 'official' summer gone, we thought we'd get a gauge on how New Zealanders felt about the (rather wet in places) first half of the season so far.

With rain falling steadily in some parts of the country, and drought dragging on in others, we asked in this week's poll whether it was what you expected - and the answers were surprising...

USA - A hurricane in January? Winter storm in the Atlantic

(CNN)It has been nearly four decades since a winter storm in the Atlantic earned a name, and the National Hurricane Center went a step further Thursday, upgrading Alex to a hurricane.

Strong winds blow through Canterbury

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Strong winds are wreaking havoc in Canterbury causing the cancellation of flights, lifting iron off roofs and temporarily silencing the international buskers festival.

Police have urged motorists to take extreme care as gales force winds of up to 100kph batter the region, making for hazardous driving conditions.

Australia: Another severe storm cuts power to thousands; one dead

One man has been killed, thousands of homes are without power and emergency services are calling in extra strike teams after a severe storm hit Sydney Thursday afternoon.

The man died after his car, travelling on the Great Western Highway, was crushed an "extremely large tree" at Emu Plains in the city's west, New South Wales Ambulance Inspector Murray Traynor said.

Strong winds from the northwest - #WeatherRisks and your Main Centre outlook on Friday

On Friday we have a strong northwesterly airflow over most of New Zealand, with a ridge over the upper North Island and a front moving onto the lower South Island before heading north.

Northwest winds around Wellington look strong, with gales possible at times from afternoon.

Weather before the weekend - The Big Picture on Friday

On Friday we have a strong northwesterly airflow over New Zealand, with a ridge over the upper North Island and a front moving onto the lower South Island in the morning.

For the North Island we have mainly sunny weather for the most part, but we see areas of cloud a little more persistent at times (especially morning) about the likes of Northland, Auckland, Waikato and

Stuck at the airport? Check out this list of the most punctual airlines/airports

People who claim that traveling is better than arriving have clearly never passed through an airport in Japan.

New stats published by travel analysts OAG reveal that if you're flying into one of two major Japanese airports, you're more likely to experience a punctual touchdown or takeoff.

Late winds - #WeatherRisks and your Main Centre Outlook on Thursday

There aren't too many risks to speak of on Thursday, though later in the day a strengthening northerly airflow moves over the whole South Island and lower North Island.

Later in the evening and overnight, northerly winds will be strong about Southland - especially in the west - and also in Fiordland.