Strong winds & cold heading into the weekend

The country has been on the receiving end of some cold, blustery conditions through the day - and this is set to continue as a southwest change makes its way up the country.

There were several watches and warnings out for different parts of the country today, Canterbury, Wairarapa, and the Rimutaka hill all received strong wind warnings, with gusts up to 130 km/h recorded in places.

Beachgoers warned after boy swept to sea

Visitors to Mt Maunganui's base track are being urged to be mindful of the conditions.

This follows the incident in which a freak wave swept young Jack Dixon out to sea on Wednesday. 

A search has so far failed to find any sign of the five-year-old. 

Australia: Farmers 'took too long' to recognise frost damage

Some farmers took too long to realise the extent of frost damage to their crops, according to one consultant.

Mick Faulkner from Agrilink Agricultural Consultants spoke at a workshop on frost damage at Loxton, South Australia, earlier this week.

He says detecting frost damage late means decisions about the crop have to be made quicker.

Weekend weather - cold snap continues

The cold, rough weather hitting some parts of the country today will continue into the weekend proper, bringing rain and snow flurries to parts of both islands.

Govt forecast models agree with WeatherWatch - October is looking settled (after this week)

Each month we release a 30 day forecast, looking at the current satellite images and projecting what the month might pan out like.

Earlier this week we released an October outlook - predicting westerly airflows to dominate, and both islands to experience more of a west-east divide in terms of weather.

VIDEO: Amazing drone footage of Iceland volcano

Eric Cheng captured some amazing video or an eruption at the Bardabunga volcanic system in Iceland using a drone.

They got so close that they were forced to stop when the front of the camera melted.

Public discussion over Waimakariri River dump

Those lobbying against the dumping of waste into the Waimakariri River will have a chance to speak at the second day of an Environment Canterbury hearing this morning.

Rain and wind sticking around

Today's unsettled weather pattern is looking like sticking around for a couple of days, as we're predicting the west to southwest airflow to stick around and spread out by Friday.

Most of the country is in for at least a few showers, as the dominant system brings a fair amount of rain with it, and those showers may turn to snow for parts of the deep south as we head into the weekend.

Goodbye clear skies - a front's on the way

The front currently rumbling slowly towards us from the Tasman Sea is about to make landfall - and should hit western parts of the country in the late afternoon or early evening tomorrow.

This means the clear, settled weather enjoyed by much of the country today is unfortunately short-lived, as showers will move in with the front too.

Wellington Town Belt Bill passes muster

Wellington City councillors are trumpeting the acceptance of the Town Belt Bill as a historic day for the capital.

The bill has been passed unanimously by the Council, paving the way for the protection of the green space around the city.

Councillor Helene Ritchie says it means there's more land now that can't be built on.