Skipper Vincent Kompany broke the news about City's match, writing on Twitter: "Game's called off! Make sure you get yourselves home and be safe, weather is terrible! #mcfc".
Police then confirmed that the fixture had been postponed due to high winds at the Etihad Stadium before the club released an official statement.
The statement read: "Manchester City can confirm that this evening's fixture versus Sunderland has been postponed due to exceptional and escalating weather conditions.
"The safety of those in around and travelling to the stadium complex cannot be guaranteed. This decision has been made by the Safety Officer and Greater Manchester Police.
"Both managers and the match officials understand and support this decision.
"The decision to postpone the City game was made by the stadium's safety officer in conjunction with police.
"A number of issues around the stadium as the wind increased in the hours leading to kick-off made the area unsafe. An unused programme booth blew over and part of a wall was also damaged."
City might have had the opportunity to move back to the top of the Barclays Premier League had the game gone ahead and other results gone in their favour.
The match will now have to be rearranged for later in the season, creating extra fixture congestion for a side still competing in four competitions.
Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini later said the postponement at the Etihad Stadium was the sensible decision.
Pellegrini said on City's official website: "The safety of the City and Sunderland supporters is the most important thing and we understand and fully support the reasons behind the game being called off.
"We were ready to play this game but the well-being of the people coming to the Etihad is paramount. We hope everybody gets home safely, both in Manchester and Sunderland."
Everton's game with Crystal Palace at Goodison Park was called off with just 35 minutes to go until kick-off because of the stormy weather.
The club announced on its Twitter feed that "tonight's game has been called off due building damage which has led to safety concerns".
Everton later released a statement confirming tickets for the original game were still valid and that talks over a new date for the fixture were scheduled for Thursday.
The statement read: "Everton officials will speak to the Premier League on Thursday morning to open discussions on when the rearranged game with Crystal Palace can take place.
"The club will communicate in due course the new date of the fixture and any additional ticket information."
Several roads around Goodison Park had been closed due to the high winds sweeping the country, with a number of spectators stuck in heavy traffic and nowhere near the ground.
Stoke's game against Swansea at the Britannia Stadium was given the go-ahead after passing two safety inspections, despite strong winds battering the ground.
The kick-off was, however, delayed by 15 minutes until 8pm due to traffic issues in the area.
The Sky Bet League One game between Sheffield United and Brentford was called off earlier on Wednesday due to a waterlogged pitch at Bramall Lane.