If you noticed a slightly more orange hue to the sky this morning it was likely to be courtesy of a 2000km-long dust cloud from across the ditch.

The enormous wall of dust, which has swept over New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, had been picked up in a front and was making its way over the Tasman Sea towards our shores.

MetService has reported the dust was visible from satellite imagery and would reach western parts of the country tomorrow.

The cloud was estimated to be over the Tasman Sea yesterday, but Meteorologist Micky Malivuk said it was impossible to tell until daybreak

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The cloud's size would likely still be in the 1000-2000km range, he said.

Hot temperatures

It was not just the dust resembling Australia today though, with some hot temperatures also to be felt across most of the country.

"A lot of places in the North Island will reach 30C today, as well as the top of the South Island," Malivuk said.

"That warm weather is being driven by a high pressure system, along with light winds and clear skies."

Auckland was in for a fine day, with a high of 28C.

Hamilton looked the pick of the northern bunch with a high of 31C, while Christchurch was looking to top them all with a forecast high of 32C.

The dust-embedded front would be mostly affecting Fiordland, bringing rain this morning, and making its way north to Buller by this evening.

It would weaken as it moved north, however, and fire-stricken Nelson would only see a small amount of rain early tomorrow morning.

Tomorrow and into the weekend temperatures will drop several degrees in most places as a cooler front makes its way up the country.

However, most places will remain in the mid 20s, as a ridge of high is expected to bring settled weather to much of the country from Friday to Monday.

While fronts could move east over the far south of the South Island, bringing periods of strong westerlies, it's unlikely these would be severe.

Tropical Cyclone Oma strengthens

To the north of New Zealand, Tropical Cyclone Oma has been upgraded to a Category 2 system by Vanuatu's Meteorological Service.

At 4am (NZ time) the cyclone was 235km west/northwest of Santo, and 310km west of Sola. Sustained winds at the centre were reaching 95km/h.

The storm was expected to bring heavy rain, strong winds, and rough seas to northern Vanuatu over the coming days.

MetService said the system was forecast to move southwest and away from Vanuatu on Friday.

Today's weather

Whangārei

Some morning cloud, then fine. Light winds. 28C high, 17C overnight.

Auckland Fine. Light winds and sea breezes. 28C high, 17C overnight.

Hamilton Morning cloud or fog, then fine and warm. Light winds. 31C high, 13C overnight.

Tauranga Fine apart from morning and evening cloud. Light winds, but afternoon northerlies. 27C high, 17C overnight.

New Plymouth Morning cloud then fine. Westerly breeze. 24C high, 14C overnight.

Napier Fine and warm. Light winds and sea breezes. 29C high, 16C overnight.

Whanganui Morning cloud then fine. Northwest breeze. 27C high, 15C overnight.

Wellington Cloudy morning and evening, but a fine afternoon. Northerlies strengthening in the morning. 23C high, 16C overnight.

Nelson Fine apart from evening high cloud. Northerlies. 26C high, 17C overnight.

Christchurch Morning cloud then fine. Rain developing at night as northerlies change strong southerly. 32C high, 13C overnight.

Dunedin High cloud with northerlies. A period of rain afternoon with a southwest change, followed by chance shower in the evening. 24C high, 11C overnight.