Cold Snap Brings Early Snow, High Wind to Australia's Southeast

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SYDNEY, Australia (Reuters) – Winter has arrived early in Australia. A cold front is bringing snow, high winds and hail to southeast Australia. The weather bureau predicts that the cold snap could last up to the middle of this week.

On Monday, snow fell in Oberon (about 120 km west of Sydney), as the weather bureau warned that animals exposed to cold, wet conditions in the southeast and alpine regions could die.

Wendy Stanton, an Oberon resident, said: "I wasn't expecting it to be so thick."

It started yesterday afternoon, and then it kept going. By the time I woke up this morning, everything was covered in snow.

Perisher Ski Resort received 10 cm of snow (3.94 inches), just over a week before the start of the ski season.

Dean Narramore is a senior meteorologist with the Bureau of Meteorology. He told Nine News that temperatures along the East Coast defied the autumn season and fell below zero early on Monday.

Sydney Airport said that flights were delayed after two runways had been closed from Sunday night until just before noon Monday because of strong winds.

According to the Weather Bureau, morning frosts will last until early Wednesday.

Videos shared on social media show that Canberra was covered in snow on Sunday, but it soon turned into slush when temperatures increased.