SYDNEY – Skies in Sydney sparkled on Monday’s fireworks display as thousands of revelers gathered on the edge of the harbor to welcome 2019 despite thunderstorms lashing the Australian city and drenching crowds earlier.
The first of two fireworks displays set off at 9:00 pm, three hours before the main event near the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House.
The main show was expected to be watched by millions around the world on TV and large crowds on the spot to witness what many consider to be one of the best pyrotechnic displays around.
Thousands jammed the harbor as hoards of people were seen crammed into vantage points near the Sydney Opera House and Mrs. Macquaries Point.
A rush of heavy rain before the 9:00 pm event threatened to spoil the show but the skies cleared, paving the way for the first round of fireworks.
Earlier, thunderstorms lashed the city after the weather office issued a “severe thunderstorm” advisory, warning that “damaging winds” may occur in parts of Sydney.
But the warning was later canceled with the weather office predicting clearer skies for the main event.
“The immediate threat of severe thunderstorms has passed, but the situation will continue to be monitored and further warnings will be issued if necessary,” the Bureau of Meteorology, New South Wales, said in a statement on its website.