Why Buffalo, NY’s Winter Snow Pile Just Won’t Melt
Millions of Americans know the city of Buffalo, NY for two reasons: its football and its snow.
In the latter case, this recognition as one of the country’s snow capitals is well deserved — as the pile of snow left over from this winter still hasn’t melted yet, new reports have found.
According to an August 2 KXAN article, two massive snow piles still remain from Buffalo’s historic November 2014 snowstorm, during which a stunning 7 feet of snow fell on certain neighborhoods throughout the city in mere hours.
During that storm, snow removal crews had nowhere else to dump the contents of their containment plows but at Buffalo’s abandoned Central Terminal on the city’s East side. Streets Commissioner Steven Stepniak said between 10,000 and 11,000 loads from heavy duty snow plows were dumped at this site, creating a mountain of snow reaching five stories high.
Eight months later, the mountain of snow has shrank into two separate mounts, both about the size of two school buses. Each pile is covered in dirt and even grass — the swampy land that surrounds them is the only proof that there’s snow beneath the surface.
It’s this layer of dirt that is actually insulating the snow from the sweltering summer heat, allowing it to prolong its melting process much longer than normal, said New York state climatologist Mark Wysocki.
Buffalo isn’t the only city that’s had a tough winter. In mid-July, Boston saw the last of its own massive snow pile finally melt away, as well.
However, there’s no telling when the last of Buffalo’s snows will finally melt.
“It could,” Wysocki said, “be there when the next snow falls.”
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