VIDEO: White Island weather update + NZ forecast to Saturday

We track the weather conditions around Bay of Plenty and White Island plus wind flows in the coming days. We also take a look at where the rain clouds are lining up around NZ over the next week with some wet areas getting dry weather and some dry regions getting wet weather.

Smoke smothers Sydney again, air pollution levels rocket (+Maps, Photo)

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Australia has lighter winds over the fires but that is keeping smoke stuck over Sydney and other large parts of NSW this morning.

Some areas well inland have air pollution levels now "hazardous" while Sydney itself is in the higher range of "unhealthy".

White Island death toll at 5, with 8 still missing + latest forecast

UPDATED 8:10am --- The death toll at White Island / Whakaari in New Zealand's Bay of Plenty region remains at five following Mondy's eruption but more remain missing. 

Past 7 days rainfall + How much rain is coming this week (+5 Maps)

Some parts of NZ are drenched others are much drier and in need of rain. A several day deluge has now cleared the West Coast with a much drier week on the way for them - but another burst of heavy rain is expected late week (nothing like what has just fallen though).

Clearer skies, cooler air returns to NZ - drier trends return too (+8 Maps)

A cold front on Sunday delivered deluges across the North Island, helped clear smokey skies up and ushered the sub-tropical air away bringing a refreshing change.

VIDEO: Clearer air for NZ, cooler nights ahead, but dry theme returns

We have a refreshing start to the working week with below average overnight lows, more normal daytime highs and dry weather returns to the West Coast after a week of deluges.

Sunday's national forecast - Some thunder and heavy downpours today

A cold front is moving up NZ and the warmer than average sub-tropical airflow is about to ease for a time.

The mix of warm and cold airflows coupled with daytime heating is a good recipe for thunderstorms.

Aussie smoke impacts NZ's air quality - clearer air pushing through Sunday (+5 Maps)

More smoke and dust from Australia continues to drift over New Zealand today but a change on Sunday may improve air quality levels around the eastern Tasman Sea / NZ area.

For Saturday the smoke and higher air pollution has slid down to central NZ (upper South Island lower North Island).

Updated: Rain, snow and wind maps (x5) next few days

Heavy rain continues on the West Coast and blustery winds in some areas as low pressure in the Southern Ocean moves closer.

We have the latest on future rainfall and where that rain will fall as snow.

The cold front is moving up the entire country on Sunday with a cooler change of air moving in for Monday in most regions.

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.