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It may have been 84 degrees in Buffalo, New York, today, but that doesn't mean you still can't go skiing. With August around the corner, there's an estimated 10- to12-foot-tall snow pile still lingering from a storm that happened back in November.
Situated in an empty railroad station, the now dirt-covered snow was dumped here from South Buffalo after the city received a record six feet of snow in 24 hours brought on by the lake-effect snowstorms that started Nov. 21 last year. The storm shut down major highways and local businesses despite the city being used to large quantities of snow, suggesting this was an especially brutal winter.
SUNY professors even had to create a new meteorological term called "snowburst" to mean a "very intense shower of snow, often of short duration, that greatly restricts visibility and produces periods of rapid snow accumulation."
Now, the pile has taken on a bit of a celebrity status after surviving high temperatures and some rain throughout the summer season. "The snow pile in Buffalo has weeds on top," wrote one Twitter user. In fact, it seems the snow has lasted so long that it's created its own eco-system, growing grass and perhaps providing a home to some local animals and insects.
But it's actually this dirt pile on top of the snow that could be preventing it from melting at a more rapid rate. "The dirt on top of the snow is actually absorbing the UV rays from the sun so the dirt is warming up instead of the snow underneath it preventing it from melting," George Wright, a certified consulting meteorologist with Wright Weather Consulting in New York tells TODAY.com. "Also, it's been a relatively dry summer, so there's no rain to wash away the pile."
With only a couple more months of warm weather left in the area, this pile has the potential to last into the fall. "This could stick around until September. I'm not sure if it will make it until the winter, but I wouldn't put it past this snow pile," adds Wright. "I've been a meteorologist since I was 14 and have never seen anything like this."
When the snow does start to melt it will become a whole new sort of experiment discovering the various objects that have been buried for months. "It's really funny the things you get to see when the snow pile starts to melt," former Buffalo resident Sarah Dietrich told TODAY.com. "There are warped bikes, lawn chairs and even pieces of cars that got caught up in the storm. It really doesn't even look like snow after a while because it turns black."
As of last week, Buffalo's snow pile seems to be the only one left in the Northeast afterBoston's Tide Street pile finally melted earlier this month after gaining an avid following of fans on social media.