The day it snowed in The Square
We’ve just shivered through another chilly wintry week, but this time five years ago it was even colder.
It all started on Monday, August 15, 2011. In the afternoon, the first few flakes fell in Palmerston North.
Then more fell, and then more. They kept coming until the city was covered.
The Square became a wintry wonderland and office workers and school pupils wandered around in the surreal gloom.
Roads were covered and there was the odd power cut as lines sagged under the weight of their chilly and unknown cargo.
Next morning, the city awoke to the rare sight of snow, everywhere.
And it wasn’t over. Falls were recorded until 9pm on Tuesday night.
The cold blanketing Manawatu meant frozen remnants remained well into the weekend, even as the sky cleared.
It wasn’t fun and games for everyone, however, as many roads were closed and power cuts in rural areas lasted longer than the minor inconveniences in the city.
The falls sparked intense debate about when it last snowed in Palmerston North.
NIWA couldn’t say. Newspapers reported a light dusting in 1934, while in 1904, enough snow fell for snowmen to be built in The Square.
Anne Tapoa said she remembered seeing snow in the city in 1973 one evening when she returned home from housie.
Sam Kearins 14, and Georgia Randle, 14, walk through the snowfall in The Square.
Sam Brooks-Bowen, 12, and Fergus Bird-Madigan 11 in the snow near the Globe Theatre.
There was enough snow in The Square to build snowmen.