10 day Rainfall Accumulation Map shows big dry locked in for some as major rain flirts nearby (+3 Maps)

NZ is fast drying out and the big dry is now becoming much more concerning for some with long range forecasts suggesting little to no rain may be coming for those who need it the most over the next 10 days.

Weather Video: Your weekend forecast + tracking the several tropical lows now forming

The weekend looks fairly settled in most of the main centres but some of the rural areas may be impacted by showers, like eastern Northland, East Cape and the West Coast.

Two large tropical lows will drift past East Cape on Sunday and Monday bringing some rain or shower activity.

Weather Video: Cold Waitangi Day for some + a special 14 day NZ rainfall forecast

Wednesday is Waitangi Day and the forecast will be colder and cloudier for a number of main regions and about half of the country from the south right up the eastern coastline to about northern Hawke’s Bay.

These southern and eastern facing regions in both islands look much cooler with some several degrees below average.

Tropical trouble: We track the tropical lows & how much rain is [not] coming over the next 14 days (+4 Maps)

The tropics are about to switch up a gear with a number of big lows developing, including a possible tropical cyclone in our backyard but also a bubble of high pressure keeping some of this rain away from NZ itself. 

Australia: Cooler weather still no relief from humidity in Sydney

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Following a spell of record heat and extended heatwaves across large parts of New South Wales, and Sydney's hottest day in more than a year on Thursday 31st January, a strong southerly change and rainy weather has brought welcome relief to the extreme temperatures experienced across the city.

Weather Video: Your Weekend weather, outlook for Waitangi Day and a look at the tropics

A colder change is moving up the country for Friday and Saturday and while some will have a significant refreshing change others further north will barely notice the difference.

Next week we see more hot weather on Monday and Tuesday but on Wednesday a cooler change with showers moves up the nation.

Tropics active north of Australia, but not north of NZ - but that may change in February continues to monitor the tropics closely for rain makers now that large portions of New Zealand are starting to dry out. Today Australia has two storms, Cyclone Riley on the western coastline and a Tropical Depression in the Gulf of Carpentaria which may become a cyclone. Neither of these tropical storms pose any risk to New Zealand.

Weather Video: Australian heatwave will bring heat to NZ next week

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We have both Nelson and Auckland Anniversary weekends this weekend with over half the country taking Monday off.

Australia: Parts of Melbourne expected to reach 43 degrees C on Friday

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UPDATED 8:54am --- Melbourne is having a scorching end to the week with temperatures in the greater city expected to hit 43 degrees today.

For downtown Melbourne Friday's high is 42 degrees. For other suburbs, like Epping and St Albans, a high of 43C is forecast.

Melbourne Airport is also expected to reach 43C today. 

Tropics north of NZ fairly quiet for rest of January, stormier in northern Australia

The tropics directly north of New Zealand is much quieter compared to a year ago with no major storms likely to develop over the rest of January in the NZ area.

There are some areas of interest, mostly in northern Australia which has already had a few cyclones affect them this season.