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Late spring snow engulfs parts of Tasmania week after bushfires raged, Australia

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A late spring cold snap has brought snowfalls of up to 100 mm (4 inches) on Thursday morning, November 7, 2019, to several parts of Tasmania, including the state's center where bushfires burned a week ago.

"White, there's no other way to describe it. It's beautiful," said Great Lake Hotel general manager Rob Morton. "We've had a couple of campers that had a bit of a shock overnight, but we got them into the hotel and warmed them up."

The cold front occurred a week after fires that threatened shacks near Miena during the last week of October – when the authorities declared the official start of bushfire season.

However, temperatures at nearby Liawenee surprisingly dropped below freezing point on Thursday morning, November 7.

Mount Wellington in Hobart City saw snow dust on its peak, as well as falls at Mount Field.

According to meteorologist Luke Johnson from the Bureau of Meteorology, snow is unusual at this time of the year in the state.

"It certainly doesn't happen every day. But this time of year we can see it," he said. "All it needs is a decent burst of cold air, which does happen from time to time."

Snowfall levels are expected to drop lower from Thursday.

"For the remainder of today we will see snow to around 700 m (2 296 feet), and tomorrow we will move to more of a south-westerly stream, and the air mass does continue to cool throughout tomorrow and we will see snow lower down to around 500 m (1 640 feet)," meteorologist Matthew Thomas said.

"Once again it will probably struggle to settle down at those heights, and the snow will melt fairly quickly and on Saturday we will see the snowline rise on Sunday."

A severe weather warning has been issued for wind gusts of over 100 km/h (62 mph) for the state's south. Cooler temperatures are expected to persist through the weekend.

Featured image credit: Great Lakes Hotel, Tasmania

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