Stormy cold front swiping Tasmania & Melbourne, temp drops ahead for lower South Island

A sharp cold front has passed across Tasmania and the southern coastline of Victoria today bringing a period of heavy rain and gale force winds. 

Strong winds are expected across the state today.

Also expect a temperature drop behind the front. Maximum temperatures in areas between Melbourne and Adelaide will be mostly under 20C, significantly cooler than usual.

Weather Video: Cyclone Gita likely to make landfall in NZ next week

The forecasters and computer models are increasingly lining up and in agreement that next week Cyclone Gita will make a direct hit on New Zealand as a wind and rain event bringing a risk of flooding and wind damage.

Australia: Temperatures soar into the mid 40s, no immediate cool down for many (+4 Maps)

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Hot and dry conditions will persist over the eastern half of Australia (except tropics) thanks to relatively calm winds.

The summer monsoon will be inactive for the next several days possibly related to MJO development in the central Pacific. 

Fierce Aussie heatwave pushes temperatures into the 40C range (+4 Maps)

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Sunny weather dominates South Australia, Victoria and southern New South Wales as the heat wave continues. Solar radiation and northerly winds have caused much higher than usual daytime temperatures around these states.

Australia: Here comes another heat wave

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Australians are in for another heat wave with temperatures surging into the 40s C. From today along the south coast of Australia, facing the Great Australian Bight, temperatures will rise 8C or more above average and particularly coastal area of SA could reach 40C at many places.

Tropical Cyclone Joyce to weaken today, but rainfall totals exceptionally high

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Tropical Cyclone Joyce is located to the southeast of Port Hedland, Western Australia as of 11am NZT.

The cyclone is gradually decaying after landfall yesterday but still keeps Category 1 intensity for now.

There is still the risk of flooding due to very heavy rain accumulation along the track through the western Pilbara and Gascoyne.

Cyclone Joyce to hit NW Australia, major flooding threat as half a metre of rain forecast

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Tropical Cyclone Joyce is located in the north sea of Western Australia and over the past six hours is slowly moving southward.

Here's the latest on the storm:

Sydney hits its highest temperature recorded since 1939 with Penrith reaching 47.3C

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Penrith in Sydney's west has reached a top of 47.3 degrees Celsius, the highest temperature recorded by a weather station in the Sydney metropolitan area in 79 years.

The temperature hit 47.3C at Penrith just after 3:00pm on Sunday.

Severe Storm to suddenly form as it reaches NZ on Thursday, then weakens (+12 Maps)

EXTENSIVE REPORT - UPDATED: A low is today forming offshore from Brisbane and is heading towards New Zealand, rapidly deepening, intensifying and reaching our shores by Thursday PM, air pressure down to 976hPa or maybe lower by early Friday morning.

Weather Maps: Infographics for the next few days (5 Maps)

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High pressure pushes across New Zealand this weekend but by Christmas Day both Australia and New Zealand will be dealing with a cold front bringing rain and showers. 

This cold front heads north later in the day and across Boxing Day.

Here's where the rain, showers, clouds and thunderstorms are likely to lie over the coming days: