From January's double-whammy of bushfires and floods to the year's steady stream of brutal storms, Australia copped a battering in 2016.

From January's double-whammy of bushfires and floods to the year's steady stream of brutal storms, Australia copped a battering in 2016. We take a look back at the photos that defined weather in Australia over the past year. And if there's one thing to take away from our summary, it's not to cross Mother Nature.

Setting sail in a New South Wales campground

 Back in January, New South Wales emergency crews were kept busy as heavy rain lashed the mid north coast and Hunter districts, with both humans and animals needing to be rescued by SES workers. Newcastle campsites packed with holiday-makers were in the firing line, with one camper putting his kayak to good use. "It's been pretty crazy, wind blowing all night, we've been up since three o'clock, trying to peg tarps back down and the water's been coming in our tents," one camper said.

Bushfire devastates small West Australian town


In contrast, over on the other side of the country in Western Australia, bushfires tore through the town of Yarloop, killing two people. More than 160 properties in the shires of Harvey and Waroona were destroyed by the blaze, which was started by a lightning strike and prompted an inquiry into how authorities handled the situation after complaints from residents and the firefighters' union.

Tasmania sprinkled with summer snow


Australia's most southern state was sprinkled with snow in February, after temperatures dropped below freezing towards the end of summer. After weeks of warm and dry weather, the Great Lakes district and Hobart's Mount Wellington saw snow, with Great Lakes tourist Kaylee Hattinger saying: "I get really excited with snow, even in winter, but in summer it's even more special I think."

Western Queensland town flooded after severe drought


Winton in Central West Queensland experienced its wettest day in more than 15 years, recording more than 100 millimetres in 24 hours in March. The torrential downpour cut most major roads in the shire, but the wet weather was a welcome sight for Queenslanders, with more than 80 per cent of the state drought declared at the time.

The reason behind Sydney's spectacular skies


During May, Sydney residents were treated to sensational sunrises and sunsets with photographs flooding social media illustrating colourful skies splashed with red, purple, pink and orange. The cause was two-fold. Astronomer Geoff Wyatt said the display was created by a clear horizon and low-level cloud, while Olenka Duma from the Bureau of Meteorology said added smoke in the atmosphere helped accentuate the colours.

Uprooted tree collapses onto house near Adelaide


Plenty of big trees fell in 2016 storms, but this picture from Aldgate, 20 kilometres south-east of Adelaide, is one of the best.

This tree was blown over during the September storm — when South Australian Power Networks said strong winds in Adelaide reached 90kph, and 120kph on Kangaroo Island and the Yorke Peninsula.

East Coast Low causes havoc


From Central Queensland to Sydney's northern beaches and Launceston, the country's eastern fringe was smashed in June by heavy rain and flash flooding, with at least five lives lost and hundreds forced from their homes. Some of the most dramatic destruction was along the beaches of Collaroy in Sydney's north, where waves up to eight metres high eroded the coast and washed away the backyards of several properties. "One of the properties along that strip actually lost an entire in-ground pool, which had moved above five metres out to sea," NSW Police Inspector Jason Reimer said.

Tidal waves lash the South Australian coast


An intense low-pressure system caused a statewide blackout across South Australia in September, as wild winds and high tides washed over beaches and flooded coastal homes. The town of Blyth, 150 kilometres north of Adelaide, felt the full force of the storm. "Basically it blew the veranda up over the top and took part of the roof and the chimneys," local David Williams said.

Brisbane belted by hail the size of golf balls


Severe thunderstorms dumped rain and golf-ball sized hailstones across parts of south-east Queensland in November, with eight-year-old Bridie Andriske taking cover in her backyard at Anstead, on the western outskirts of Brisbane. ABC journalist Quentin Hull said it was a worthy introduction to storm season. "There's some decent rocks coming down in this one," he said.


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