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Spectacular shelf cloud rolls in over Sydney's Bondi Beach

Australians awed by massive shelf cloud
australia shelf cloud sydney van dam_00002026

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Australians awed by massive shelf cloud 00:51

Story highlights

  • Images were captured by beachgoers in Bondi, Sydney
  • The huge cloud rolled in over the sea before the downpour

(CNN)A spectacular shelf cloud was seen slowly moving over the ocean toward Sydney's Bondi Beach, before dumping rain on the city.

"Walking towards the beach it looked to me like a huge wave coming from the back of the ocean about to swamp us all!" Hannah Murphy told CNN on Friday.
"People were running from the streets to capture the unbelievable cloud formation."
Documentary maker Will Reid filmed this amazing video of the storm rumbling toward land. "I think Sydney just perfected the shelf cloud," he tweeted.
Nicole Keijzer was on her way to Bondi Beach to swim when she spotted the cloud that she described as "wave in the sky."
    "It was a beautiful morning, and suddenly the ocean turned a very light aqua blue, which contrasted the sky that began turning black," said Nicole Keijzer, who sent CNN this photo.
    "People started running down to the cliff edge to take photos... All of a sudden it felt very muggy, and the wind turned warm."
    Keijzer said she quickly abandoned the beach when she saw the rain approaching.
    "I saw the rain in the distance and everyone along with me ran out of the beach before getting pelted on," she said.
    Mid-afternoon, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology issued a severe thunderstorm warning, urging residents to stay indoors and away from windows, unplug appliances and avoid using phones.
    By late afternoon, the bureau said conditions had eased though more severe thunderstorms were still possible.