Severe storm sweeps into Sydney at rush hour

Dramatic photographs taken of ‘apocalyptic’ clouds on New South Wales coast

Sydney was hit by a severe storm on Wednesday (Mar 5) as huge clouds rolled in over Sydney Harbour bringing lightning and heavy rain. Commuter travel was disrupted as the storm struck during peak hour causing delays. Video; Reuters

A severe storm which swept into Sydney during the evening rush hour today resulted in long delays and dramatic photographs.

There were tailbacks on the Sydney Harbour Bridge as heavy rain and severe thunder moved in over the Australian city's harbour.

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology had issued a "severe thunderstorm warning" for many parts of New South Wales at about 4.30pm (5.30am Irish time), and warned of possible heavy rainfall and flash flooding .

A wave-like cloud looms over Sydney’s Manly Beach during an afternoon storm front. Photograph: Will Burgess /Reuters
Storm clouds pass over Manly’s Fairy Bower beach on Sydney’s north shore as locals (L-R) Matt Fleming, Larry McMurridge and George Stantschef look on. Photograph: Will Burgess /Reuters

By 11pm Australian time the bureau cancelled the severe thunderstorm warning.


Many residents took to social media to tweet photographs of a wave-like cloud looming over the city, with some comparing the images to apocalypse film Independence Day.

Australia entered Autumn at the start of March after recording its 15th hottest summer on record.

Genevieve Carbery

Genevieve Carbery

Genevieve Carbery is Deputy Head of Audience at The Irish Times