Snow in Tawa!
"It's actually snowing here in Tawa, Sunday 14th August, 2011. Hard to believe!" That's the wording on the 11-second video clip I recorded at 4.27pm that afternoon. I never expected to see snow falling in Tawa like it did that day, and to settle several inches deep. We simply don't get it here in the way that those further south do. Until this past Sunday that is ...
It snowed again reasonably significantly on both Monday and Tuesday as well, settling on the bush and trees but not on the roads as it did on Sunday. Rain through the night on Tuesday ensured that most of it was gone by Wednesday, apart from on the tops of the surrounding hills. Not that the temperature seemed to improve much. It was brought about by a cold polar blast which covered the country for several days. Even as this is written on Thursday afternoon it's still cold, wet and miserable outside.
But back to the magic of that first snowfall. I headed from my back section out onto the street on which a thin layer of snow was starting to accumulate. Some of my neighbours were out there too, taking photos or throwing snowballs. It was indeed a magnificent scene with the snow continuing to fall and the nearby bush taking on a picturesque white coating. Back home the snow was building up on the lawn and around 5 o'clock the power went off in most of Tawa. At the time we had no idea whether it would be minutes or hours before it would be restored. Fortunately it was back on within 60 minutes.
Late Monday morning I sent out an email to the Tawa community requesting that people send through their various snow pics for inclusion on a webpage to record the event in Tawa. I think I'd been inspired by receiving a photo from Rebecca Clark on Sunday evening of Tawa's iconic floral sign covered in snow, as shown below. Since then I've received around 240 shots from around 60 people. I gave up counting a while back. Some of the snow-covered street scenes are absolutely brilliant - in my humble opinion. But then I'm a sucker for snow shots. I got some great photos at Tekapo after a hearty dumping of snow in early August last year. But I digress ...
There are more than 150 snow photos on the following two pages. I haven't been able to include all the ones that were sent to me but have concentrated on street settings and people shots, rather than too many backyard shots. And they are all in Tawa. Flash photos really highlighted the actual snowflakes, as you'll notice in several of the shots.
It's pretty apparent which photos were taken on which day. The ones of snow-covered streets, trees and gardens in which the sky is dull, grey, or non-existent were from late Sunday afternoon, not long before the daylight started to fade. The ones featuring less snow on the ground and a bright blue sky were obviously the following day, Monday 15th August.
A big thank you to everyone for your contributions. They're set out street by street, featuring around 35 different Tawa streets. And near the end there are a few views looking both ways across the valley, appropriately listed under "Views ...". Enjoy - until the next time!
- Malcolm Sparrow
[Click on pics to enlarge].