From dust to hail, tornados and heatwaves, Sydney has faced some of the nation's most extraordinary and expensive weather events.
Dust storm, 2009
When Sydneysiders woke on September 23, 2009, they would have been forgiven for thinking they'd woken up on Mars.
A combination of warm temperatures and westerly winds had left the city blanketed in an eerie cloud of red dust.
Frank Mondello, the manager of operations at Sydney Airport at the time, said he thought it was the end.
"It was very apocalyptic."
Sydney hadn't experienced the rare event seen since the 1940s and had meteorologists excited.
"I remember waiting for the sun to come up because we'd been watching it all night and [we] wanted to see what it could look like out the window," said Jane Golding, the Bureau of Meteorology's NSW manager of weather services.
"The dust came from the area to the west of Cobar and just across the South Australian and Queensland border, and that area had been in drought for nine or more years.
"Then we had a really strong weather system that produced gale-force winds over the source area so that lifted the dust."
While Sydney was the worst hit, the dust travelled as far north as Cairns and eventually ended up in New Zealand.
It reduced visibility across the city and large parts of New South Wales and created a busy day for fire crews who were responding to false fire alarms.
"Our normal response for a day is anywhere up to 30 automatic fire alarms on a building," Fire and Rescue NSW Superintendent Warwick Kidd said.
"This day we had over 500 alarms, which means you had fire engines running all over the place."
Lee from Villawood services air conditioners and said it took a very long time to no longer smell the dust.
"I had red hair for a year."
The storm also put pressure on hospitals.
Professor Gordian Fulde was the director of the St Vincent's emergency department at the time and said, luckily, they were no serious health issues.
"We didn't have any critically ill respiratory emergencies," he said.
"I was told that it was clean dust, it was not like cigarette smoke, and that's why it didn't cause as much of an irritant."
And with 100 per cent of NSW now drought declared, Ms Golding said it might not be too long until Sydney had another dust storm.
"They're pretty rare events but we are watching this season because it is so dry out west.
"All we would need is a system of a similar strength."
East coast low, 2016
From June 4 to 6, 2016, stretching from Queensland to Tasmania, a monster east coast low dumped record-breaking rain and generated massive surf, forcing hundreds from their homes and resulting in five deaths.
The low pressure system began tracking south from Clermont in Central Queensland before impacting the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane.
Next the deluge drenched the Gold Coast and northern New South Wales, before it eventually reached Sydney's northern beaches, most notably Collaroy and Coogee, triggering evacuations from beachside homes that faced eight-metre swells.
In NSW alone, the SES received more than 11,000 requests for assistance and performed 310 flood rescues.
June 5 became the wettest day on record when the storm dumped an average of 73 millimetres along the state's coast, a measure often associated with tropical cyclones.
Simon Lewis, manager of the BOM's NSW Severe Weather Unit, said the unusual severity of the storm was caused by another system above New Zealand.
"We had a big high pressure system out over New Zealand and that kept the low trapped against the coast.
"It travelled all the way down, dragging in a lot of tropical moisture from the Coral Sea, and led to these really high rainfall rates.
"It eventually went all the way down and effected north-east Tasmania with quite major flooding, before finally being able to escape out into the Tasman Sea."
In Collaroy, backyards had been entirely washed away, including an in-ground swimming pool.
For many, it was a sight they're unable to forget.
"That whole June 2016 is just welded into my head," local Nick Carroll told the ABC's Focus program.
"I got up on the Monday morning and rushed down to the beach and saw surf that I've never seen outside the Hawaiian Islands.
"It's really impossible to describe the kind of energy that was moving around in the water after that thing passed."
According to Mr Lewis, a number of factors came together to create such a rare event.
"It came through right on the king tide that we had in association with the winter solstice," he said.
"The other thing that really had an impact was that because this was such an unusual east coast low, the waves were coming in from the east, north-east.
"Typically we see waves coming from the south-east, and the beaches in NSW are more used to waves coming from that direction."
Mr Lewis said this change in direction meant parts of the beaches that don't usually face huge swells were being hit at king tide.
Across NSW, Queensland, Victoria and Tasmania, the Insurance Council of Australia said the estimated insured loss totalled $421 million.
Late in the afternoon on April 14, 1999, a storm was brewing in Nowra, south of Sydney.
The BOM did not issue a warning about the storm's development.
Hours later, a supercell struck Sydney's eastern suburbs in what would become the most expensive natural disaster in Australia's history.
According to the Insurance Council of Australia, the estimated insurance loss was $1.7 billion.
If it were to occur today, the ICPA estimates the insured loss would be almost $4.3 billion.
Rob Webb, the BOM's deputy chief executive, was a forecaster in Sydney at the time.
He recalled walking around Newtown that afternoon, unaware of the damage closing in on his city and organisation.
"I remember walking home with my wife and she said, 'Gee that looks like a big storm down to the south', and I said, 'Don't worry about that one, it's heading off to sea'.
"The credibility took a bit of a hit that night."
Mr Webb said he had been monitoring the storm at work that day, but knew thunderstorms in April were rare so thought little of it.
"It was the wrong time of year, there wasn't lots of energy in the atmosphere and it had tracked offshore — but it just took a little left-hand turn and clipped a part of the coast that has lots of people," he told ABC Radio Sydney's Focus program.
"This certainly reset my thoughts on what weather could do to a community; just the scale or the intensity across the eastern suburbs of Sydney in particular."
Reports suggest that around 500,000 tonnes of hailstones, some up to 11 centimetres in size, were dropped on Sydney during the storm.
Multiple emergency response teams were deployed within hours, and premier Bob Carr invoked a state of emergency which gave the SES the ability to control the response.
Actor Michael Caton lives in Bondi and said he remembered the storm making it near impossible to get home from the pub.
"It started hailing and I've never seen hail like it before.
"It was like somebody had taken a sheet of glass and smashed it with a hammer.
"We were trying to walk home to get in during the lull, and it was impossible to walk up the street because you were sliding backwards on this hail."
Kurnell tornado, 2015
In December 2015, a savage supercell thunderstorm and tornado tore through Kurnell in Sydney's south.
It generated wind gusts of up to 213 kilometres per hour, making it the highest windspeed ever recorded in NSW.
Sutherland Shire Mayor Carmelo Pesce likened the aftermath to a movie set.
"I remember walking through the site of Kurnell and it was like a warzone, like something out of the movies."
According to the weather bureau, destructive winds hit Sydney's southern coast in the morning, pelting golf ball-sized hailstones onto the suburb.
Senior forecaster Katerina Kovacevic said a supercell thunderstorm with a tornado is a rare and dangerous event.
"We have different classes of thunderstorms and the most dangerous is a supercell.
"About one in every 10 storms that's dangerous is a supercell. It's characterised by a very strong updraft, and in supercells this column of air is rotating."
Twenty-five properties were destroyed and thousands more had their roofs torn off.
Resident Nathalie Hennessey said as much as she tries to forget the tornado, it's an impossible feat.
"I was at the airport working and saw the storm come through, and I received a call to say, 'I think you'd better come home, you're not going to like this'.
"We lost our roof and with that, a torrential downpour flooded our house completely."
Andrew McGregor recalled watching the storm from where he was working.
"The wind really picked up and we could see sheets of metal flying through the area.
"It was like standing on a tarmac at the airport. The wind was roaring.
"I'm standing in the carpark at work and I can still see bits of debris from the storm today, bits of roofing that would've been from the desalination plant."
The desalination plant's chief executive, Kevin Davies, said the damage was so bad that it plant has only just been rebuilt.
"I'm very happy to report that the rebuild is complete," he said.
"We're now going into the testing part of it to make sure that the rebuild works are OK."
The total estimated insurance loss for the disaster was more than $200 million.
To this day, the 1939 heatwave remains the hottest on record in many parts of NSW and Victoria.
It is still referred to as the most significant in recorded history, killing hundreds across the country.
BOM climate scientist Linden Ashcroft said while heatwaves were common to an Australian summer, the 1939 event set records.
"It began in the middle of January and came after two dry years across much of western NSW; when a high pressure system stalled over eastern Australia, it was the perfect recipe for a hot air mass to develop over the centre of the country.
"Soils were very dry inland, meaning the hot air built up quickly. Then we got this really strong cold front that passed across the south-east, bringing strong, hot northerly winds and the devastating fire conditions."
Ms Ashcroft said all that together created the perform storm.
While the heatwave began on January 7, Sydney was protected from the highest temperatures until January 11, with the hottest day coming three days later.
"On the 14th it got to 45.3C at the Sydney Observatory, which was only beaten in 2013, and 47.8C was reached in Richmond in the west of the city, which is still the highest temperature recorded in Sydney."
Andrew Gissing, an emergency and risk management expert at Risk Frontiers and adjunct fellow at Macquarie University, said the extreme temperatures made for one of the deadliest heatwaves in the country.
"Over 400 people died back in 1939 from the heatwave across different parts of the country, especially around New South Wales.
"It was one of the hottest times in the history of Australia and the death toll showed just how significant they were."
Despite massive technological advancements in cooling and air conditioning, emergency warnings and even clothing, Mr Gissing said heatwaves continued to threaten lives.
"A heatwave is still a threat that looms very large in the Australian context, and there's no reason why we couldn't have another really significant heatwave that puts hundreds of lives at risk."ABC