It's late July and 88ºF in Buffalo, New York. But that city had a rough winter with foot upon foot of snow. It took a long time to clear all that snow away. And the job isn't over, yet. There is at least one huge pile of snow that hasn't melted. It's been there so long that it's covered over with dirt and grass is now growing on top. Local news meteorologist Patrick Hammer explains how it's lasted so long:
"That pile of snow is like a glacier," explained Hammer. "It's very dense and it's covered in dirt and garbage, which acts to insulate the snow from the sun's rays. That's what melts the snow, not just the heat but the sun's rays, and it's protected."
Hammer also noted that because of this, most of the melting of the pile is not occurring from the surface, as one might suspect.
"It's actually mostly melting from below…from the ground which has warmed beneath it," he said.
Hammer says rather than sunshine and heat, water might be more effective in dissipating the pile.
"A lot of rain would do the trick,…but so too could the fire department with a bunch of hoses, which they could use to spray off the dirt and break up what's under it, because it's really the dirt that's insulating it."
You read more at WGRZ (warning: auto-start video).
I wonder if, like the Springfield Tire Fire, the snow pile will last until next winter so that nature can replentish it.