Weekend thunder, a West Coast deluge and a brief cool change Monday (+8 Maps)

Over 200mm of rain is coming for parts of the West Coast in just a day, double that over the weekend. Meanwhile northern NZ may have thunderstorms as more sub-tropical warmth spreads down over the island ahead of a cold front on Sunday.

VIDEO: Smoke from Australia, a West Coast deluge and a Monday cool change

Our video this weekend is packed full of info as we track the raging Australian bush-fires and the huge smoke plume being generated across the Tasman Sea and parts of New Zealand.

We’re tracking the West Coast deluge as another 300mm+ is forecast for some areas with spillover into Lake Wanaka which is already flooding.

Australia on fire - Massive smoke clouds smother Sydney, cover NZ too

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Updated 8am NZDT/6am AEDT --- Bush fires along eastern Australia flared up Thursday with a huge pulse of smoke and dust crossing the Tasman Sea, covering parts of New Zealand and smothering Sydney with thick smoke.

Those suffering from asthma and allergies may be affected by the smoke in both Australia and NZ and closing doors and windows may help.

VIDEO: Southern Ocean storm to alter NZ’s weather for a week

Special detailed update --- A storm is south of New Zealand but not everyone has bad weather this week, in fact some have more sun, dry and warmth while others have heavy rain and gales.

Big doesn't always mean bad for everyone as Southern Ocean storm forms (+3 Maps)

UPDATED 7:51am Monday --- A huge area of low pressure is forming in the Southern Ocean creating a large storm which will span thousands of kilometres in diameter and brush New Zealand and south eastern Australia. It will affect our weather for about seven full days.

The storm itself won't directly cross NZ, but it's so large in size it can't help but swipe us.

Australia's smokey haze to continue lingering across NZ (+InfoGraphics)

As dozens of Australian fires continue to burn, some out of control, the air pressure set up over the Tasman Sea means New Zealand's skies continue to be polluted.

5 and 10 day NZ rainfall outlooks - many places look dry (+4 Maps)

Heavy rain returns to the West Coast but elsewhere rainfall totals look set to remain below normal in many regions.

Driest places ahead will be eastern and northern New Zealand where rainfall totals over the next 10 days may be less than 10mm. In fact some eastern regions, especially Canterbury, may have less than 1mm.

Aussie's big dry shifts over NZ for rest of November - some rain relief for NSW (+3 Maps)

Things about to get even drier for many parts of New Zealand due to an uptick in high pressure. The entire North Island and a large portion of the South Island will lean drier than normal over the next week.

Apart from some heavy downpours (with possible thunder) today in Canterbury, the next 10 days look dry to mainly dry.

How much rain fell Monday + Upcoming 5 Day Rain & Snow Accumulation outlooks (+4 Maps)

We have some further rain and snow coming to New Zealand - but also a large amount of dry weather, with most regions tipping drier than average except the West Coast.

VIDEO: Many places learning drier than normal, but not the West Coast

Heavy rain off and on for the West Coast and some Australia smoke in our skies, otherwise many places have a fairly dry and average week ahead.

There will be a slight cool down around Wednesday and Thursday but by Friday and the weekend many places are back to sub-tropical winds - or a nor’west flow from Australia.