'Like an apocalypse': Thunderstorm and smoke haze plunge Sydney into darkness

Sydney has been plunged into "apocalyptic" darkness as a smoke haze and thunderstorm clouds combined to block out the setting sun.

The city was eerily dark by 5pm (local time) on Friday ahead of thunderstorms which travelled towards the coast from western Sydney.

Storm clouds mixed with lingering smoke from NSW bushfires that had settled across the city – including from one blaze at nearby Gospers Mountain – reducing the effects of the setting sun, a Bureau of Meteorology spokesman told AAP.

The sky in Sydney shown turning dark prematurely on Friday afternoon as a thunderstorm rolled in. Source: Twitter/JHazzardous & Twitter/JM77
The thick smoke turned the sun an eerie orange colour on Friday. Source: Twitter/Bjako

"It's a combination of all these," the spokesman said.

Storms were expected to continue throughout Friday evening.

Sydneysiders took to social media to share their surprise at the changing weather.

Amanda posted on Twitter Sydney was dark "almost like an apocalypse".

"Sydney is looking so dark and dreary for 4.50pm in the afternoon, in summer. Bushfire smoke mixed with grey clouds is just depressing," someone else posted.

"Whoever turned out the lights in Sydney, please turn them back on – some of us are trying to read," another wrote.

Sydney Observatory Hill’s gauge caught six millimetres of rain Friday between 5.30pm and 7.30pm, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.

Camden, southwest of Sydney, had 6.8 millimetres of rainfall in the same timeframe.

Lightning strikes Sydney's Westfield Tower. Source: Supplied

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