Australia: Severe weather continues for Sydney - warnings issued

The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a severe weather warning for damaging winds and dangerous surf conditions for Sydney.

A deep low pressure system lies over the western Tasman Sea which will lead to cold and wet conditions for the rest of the week.

Climate outlook - a warm and damp spring for the North Island

The North Island could be in for a warm but damp spring, according to Niwa's seasonal outlook for the next three months.

Temperatures are likely to be average or above for the North Island and the top of the South Island, with an equal chance of above-average rainfall. 

Weather Video: A tale of two islands

That low pressure system sitting to our west is looking ominous now, especially after the recent heavy rains across much of the North Island.

The South Island should enjoy a calm and clear midweek, however, with Thursday looking good the further south you travel.

Northland rains could have contaminated waterways

Northland residents are being told to stay away from waterways, as they could potentially be contaminated.

The Whangarei District Council has warned flooding from the weekend's heavy rainfall could have caused rural septic tanks and urban manholes to surcharge. 

Asia: Bad weather delays the start of Japan's dolphin hunting season

The controversial six-month dolphin hunting season has begun in Japan, but bad weather has delayed the slaughter.

People from the southwestern town of Taiji corral hundreds of dolphins into a secluded bay and butcher them each year.

The practice was thrust into the global spotlight in 2010 when it became the subject of the Oscar-winning documentary The Cove.

Australia: Crops 'on a knife edge' after dry August

A drier than average August in many parts of the country means spring rains will now be critical to ensure grain crops don't fail.

Many cropping regions in South Australia, Victoria, southern New South Wales and Western Australia recorded below average rainfall for the month of August. 

Weather Video: Lingering rain...

The North Island has had its fair share of rain in the past 48 hours - and it's looking like patchy showers will continue at least until Tuesday for some parts.

Wednesday should bring more of a sunny feel for both islands, while Thursday will see more of the same.

Rains cause more problems in Northland

Heavy rain has lashed Northland overnight, leaving some residents worried they could be facing another flooding event. 

More than 55 millilitres of rain fell in at least one area of Northland in the 12 hours from 7pm last night, with around 30-35mls falling in most places.

Almost 22mls of rain fell in Whangarei overnight.

Clotheslines less popular in NZ - study

In an age of modern convenience, even the humble clothesline is being hung out to dry.

A survey by Canstar Blue has shows the number of people with no outdoor clothesline has more than doubled in the last year.

One in four Kiwis now opt to use the dryer, or an indoor drying rack. 

POLL RESULTS: Two thirds of kiwi lawns still in 'winter mode'

The familiar Saturday morning sound of lawnmowers may start to pick up again as we head into Spring proper - with 65% of kiwis saying their lawns have been stuck in winter mode despite plenty of both rain and sun.