Severe storm rolls over Sydney

Commuters endured a long haul home on Wednesday, with major train and road delays adding to peak hour woes after a severe thunderstorm and heavy rain swept through Sydney's eastern and southern suburbs.

The wet weather caused major traffic jams, with flooding on Syd Enfield Drive in Bondi Junction and a multi-vehicle accident on Southern Cross Drive in Kensington causing heavy traffic in the eastern suburbs.

Sydney commuters experienced delays of up to 30 minutes when buses were caught in traffic jams in the CBD, while southbound traffic stretched back for kilometers on the Harbour Bridge, motorists said.

Flights due to arrive at Sydney Airport between 4.20pm and 5.20pm were diverted to other Australian airports, including Canberra and Brisbane, while the thunderstorm passed over the area, an airport spokeswoman said.

“It was a period of an hour and it was one of the quieter hours of the airport so it wasn’t in the peak time."

All flights were back to normal at 6.30pm and each airline would organise to have passengers flown back to Sydney, the spokeswoman said.

She was unable to confirm how many flights had been affected.

While the day had been the "sunniest and warmest day" for the past week, the weather took a sudden turn in the afternoon, Weatherzone meteorologist Brett Dutschke said.

"Basically we've had the sunniest and warmest day and it's all of a sudden turned quite rainy and thundery ... there's storm potential for the next few days," he said.

Mr Dutschke said the past six days in Sydney had been the city's cloudiest in the past nine months.

He said there would be a high risk of thunderstorms in Sydney on Thursday morning.

Sydney residents have flooded Twitter and Facebook with pictures of the storm, describing it as "apocalyptic".

The Bureau of Meteorology issued a severe thunderstorm warning for people in the Sydney metropolitan area, Illawarra, South Coast, Central Tablelands, Riverina and parts of the Hunter about 4.20pm.

The Southern Tablelands, Central West Slopes and Plains, South West Slopes, Lower Western, Upper Western and Snowy Mountains were also warned.

Weatherzone is owned by Fairfax Media, publisher of this website.

The story Severe storm rolls over Sydney first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.

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