Thunderstorms hit Sydney as millions gather for New Year Eve fireworks display

New Year’s Eve crowds have been drenched as thunderstorms roll into Sydney ahead of a massive fireworks display. Thunderstorms have lashed Sydney and drenched New Year’s Eve crowds, but the weather is expected to clear enough for spectacular fireworks to light up the Harbour.

Sydney’s skies saw the first of two huge fireworks displays at 9 pm – three hours before the main event, which will be watched by millions around the world.

Popular vantage points closed off early as hundreds of thousands of revellers count down to the city’s New Year’s Eve party.

Rain fell over the harbour, with even heavier falls elsewhere over the metropolitan area. A huge shower began just after 7 pm, forcing many people diving under blankets to shield themselves from the rain.

The storms brought 8mm of rain and dozens of lightning strikes, AAP reported and caused the cancellation of the 8 pm aerial flyover display. The night’s two firework shows are still scheduled for 9 pm and midnight.

Charlie Pickering told those watching ABC’s New Year’s Eve coverage: “The weather hasn’t been great, there was heavy rain but it has cleared and we are going to try to go ahead with everything we have planned for the concert, and we have a lot planned.”

Few in the coveted spots around the harbour were prepared to give up their positions though. it eased about an hour later, but then returned – although forecasters hope the worst of it will be gone by midnight.

The heavy rain had threatened to spoil the iconic event, but the first round of fireworks have shown the Sydney show will go on. Read full the story here

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