Update: Colder change moving into northern NZ with gales peaking tonight/overnight

UPDATED 9:06pm --- Colder air continues to move northwards this evening as the centre of the low causing the extra winds makes landfall in the western Waikato / South Auckland area. The public rain radar shows the centre moving in as of now/mid evening.

Tropical Cyclone Keni now Severe Category 3 storm, will merge with NZ low (+6 Maps)

Fiji is dealing with the wind and rain from Tropical Cyclone KENI this afternoon as it is upgraded this afternoon to a "severe" Category 3 tropical storm and is now as close to Fiji's main island as it will get.

Cold change grinding northwards up NZ, more to come tonight & Wednesday (+4 Maps)

It's a cold, wet and windy day across many parts of New Zealand but the warmth is holding on to the north... for now.

As of 2pm the deepening low over the North Island was temporarily holding the southerly change from spreading further northwards, with windy but fairly warm westerlies still blowing over the top third of the country.

Special Video Update on the Antarctic Blast covering New Zealand

Heavy snow is falling, big thunderstorms are rumbling and strong winds are howling as a southerly blast fresh from the Antarctic area spreads across New Zealand.

The southerly now heads into the North Island bringing thunderstorms ahead of the change and snow showers on the ranges afterwards.

Updated: Rain and snow accumulation maps (x2)

A deepening developing low has been approaching New Zealand overnight bringing isolated thunderstorms to the western North Island, torrential downpours to the west and snow to the South Island ranges.

Why is New Zealand getting such a big cold blast? It's all to do with a high (+6 Maps)

This week is a very busy week weatherwise in the New Zealand area with a major southerly blast being the main feature but another tropical cyclone also getting into the mix.

7 MAPS detailing the incoming blast of wind, rain and snow for New Zealand:

Maps covering Snow, Wind, Rain, Cloud Cover, Thunderstorms & Temperatures over the next two days:

Special Video: A new cyclone forms & a southerly blast develops for NZ

This week is an exceptionally busy weather week around the New Zealand area with a tropical cyclone (Keni) which may bring severe weather to Fiji in the coming day or two but then may merge to create an especially large low pressure system to the east of the country.

Weather Video: Cold snap coming for NZ, more storms for the tropics

Most regions have a few more warm days ahead of them but a cold change arrives in Southland this weekend and then spreads nationwide next week.

It will bring a big drop in temperatures, over 10 degrees down for some regions compared to the afternoon highs of this week.

Weather Video: Hotter than usual Wednesday makes way for cold snap by Sunday

A westerly airflow across New Zealand today will encourage more late summer-like temperatures in the east of both islands, mainly the North Island.