Australia: Land of the big wide drought as NZ gets rain relief (+5 Maps)

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As rain returns to New Zealand following a very dry first half of the year spare a thought to our Aussie neighbours dealing with drought - and more dry coming their way.

Australia - Sydney's record mid-winter warmth

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Sydney just registered its eighth consecutive day over 20 degrees, setting a new record for July.

The average maximum temperature in Sydney during July is about 16 degrees. However, this month has only had one day below 17 degrees so far.

A lack of cloud, rain and strong cold fronts have been responsible for this month's unusual warmth in Sydney.

No video this weekend, so here are 10 weather maps instead!

The weather this weekend is trending warmer than average (by several degrees for some) and fairly dry too. Sub-tropical northerly quarter winds will spread across the entire country over the weekend and Monday before clearing away to westerlies by Tuesday.

Daytime highs nationwide will be above normal while overnight lows will start to lift for many places too.

NZ in shadow of Australian droughts as another giant anticyclone comes our way (+7 Maps)

An abnormally large belt of high pressure is moving in to New Zealand with drier than average weather for the rest of June and some places likely not receiving any rain between now and early July (not so normal for this time of the year).

Record June warm spell in Sydney

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Sydney experienced an unprecedented run of June warmth this week.

The city's Observatory Hill weather station registered maximum temperatures at or above 22.0 degrees between Sunday 9th and Thursday 13th of June.

This is Sydney's first five day spell this warm during June on record, with observations dating back to 1859.

Warmth returning to Australia's southeast

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Unseasonably warm air will return to southeastern Australia during the next several days, ending the region's chilly start to winter.

A series of cold fronts brought a string of cold days and nights to Australia's southeastern states during the last fortnight. For some areas, this wintry spell included the coldest and snowiest weather this early in the season since the year 2000.

Australia: Welcome rain in parts of WA

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Geraldton has seen more rain during the last 24 hours than the last nine months combined.

A strong cold front brought welcome rain to western and southwestern districts of Western Australia on Thursday night and Friday.

11,000km high pressure belt to be replaced by deep Southern Ocean low in 7 days time (+2 Maps) has today revised the width of the high pressure belt influencing NZ's weather, from 9000km to 11,000km from west to east.

VIDEO: 11,000km belt of high pressure to be replaced by huge low next week

Make the most of the calmer weather - next week is looking very different. has today revised the width of the high pressure belt currently over New Zealand and Australia and we now estimate it stretches over 11,000km from west to east.

Australia: The long road to drought

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A prolonged period of dry and warm weather is taking a toll on Australia's water balance, with large swaths of agricultural land in drought and urban dam levels dropping around the country.