Living here for eighteen years and waiting anxiously with my camera for Tenby’s charms to be carpeted in snow, I can report: not often, not much !
Surrounded by the sea on two sides, both the air and the ground are warmed by the sea; if the air is cold enough, then usually the ground is not, so snow doesn’t settle.
BUT, when both are cold enough, roughly every seven years, then we collect one or one and a half inches of snow. So it’s due again now!!! And it has arrived!
On the afternoon of December 21st 2010 a large grey snow shower cloud slid slowly south between Carmarthen and Haverfordwest, carpeting Tenby with one and a half inches over three hours. Not much you think, but enough to cut Tenby off with 4 x 4s and everything else left abandoned on the hills out of the town! In the morning Tenby drivers phoning into work in Carmarthen or Haverfordwest apologising that Tenby was cut off were greeted with disbelief; the snow cloud had missed both towns.
But on the evening of the 21st, equipped with boots, multi-layered clothing and my new Sony DSLR, I rushed round under the cloud capturing whatever the camera could record in the dim light, wiping flakes off the front filter before every shot. Dim? It sure was !
Here’s dim in the harbour. So dim that the snowflakes are grey and almost invisible.
But up on Castle Hill, by Albert’s flood lights, I could capture the flakes as the wind rushed them down and by.
Fortunately when the snow stopped the cloud became much thinner and the light improved so I got back to Bridge Street, took a sequence of seven photos which with the computer I later stitched into a panorama. The orange street lights gave the snow a pink tinge, to contrast with the blue of the dusk sky, on the snow. The result was the most popular photo I have taken; Tenby coated in the still, unsullied beauty of snow. Something rarely seen, even by locals, but much remembered. (Part of the image is shown here)
It grew too dark, so I returned in the morning to find the sun and the temperate setting by the sea was wiping the snow away, though the snow did still sparkle on Castle Hill.