‘Independence Day’ cloud: Storm engulfs Sydney landmarks

Storm clouds gather over centre court as play is suspended during the Sydney International tennis tournament in Sydney on January 14, 2016. © Peter Parks
In scenes reminiscent of an alien invasion film, giant dark clouds gathered above Sydney on January 14. The Australian city was hit by a severe thunderstorm that left thousands without power.

The sight of the clouds may have put the fear into tourists, but the locals are well used to the impressive sight with the city seeing their iconic landmarks engulfed by storm clouds a few times a year.

The storm appeared quickly with some beachgoers caught off guard by the nearby lightning strikes.

The storm brought with it strong winds, enough to blow a koala out of a tree and then knock that tree right over.


A video posted by Manizé Abedin (@manize_abedin) on

The severe storm is a precursor to a heatwave due to bring temperatures in the city above 40 degrees celsius (104 F).