This can’t be a good sign. City maintenance workers in Buffalo, New York, reported that two snow piles left from last winter’s heavy snowfalls have still not melted. In July! Meanwhile, ski resorts in Montana and Wyoming report the first snowfall of the new season. In July! What’s going on?
The snow piles in Buffalo are left from a monster storm in November that dumped up to seven feet of snow in some parts of the city. That’s the kind of snowfall that has to be lifted into trucks and hauled away like garbage, which is how it ended up on Memorial Drive in an old rail yard.
An estimated 11,000 truckloads were dumped there, with the pile eventually reaching five stories high. The pile is now down to two lumps, one about the size of two school buses and one smaller. Why are they still there?
Snow is not all that’s in the piles. Dirt, grime, mailboxes, lost socks and other stuff has been insulating the piles, even in the 80 degree July heat. No one is predicting when the snow will finally melt and some locals seem to be enjoying having it around.
Will it still be there when the first snow falls in the next Buffalo winter? That could happen soon if the unusual weather in the Rockies moves east. Ski resorts at the higher elevations in Montana, Wyoming and Idaho got several inches of snow on July 27th and 28th. Here’s what happened in National Weather Service weather-speak:
An abnormally powerful low-pressure system is winding up near the Montana-Saskatchewan border – something more typical of the cold-weather season than mid-July. As a result, it's yanking some pretty cold air southward quickly enough to bring subfreezing temperatures into the Northern Rockies at elevations above 10,000 feet or so. Throw in some moisture and boom, snow.
Boom or gloom? There are no skiers at the resorts right now. While the area needs precipitation, they’d rather have the white stuff in November and the wet stuff now.
Are these signs of climate change? Weather experiments? Volcanic winter? Polar shift? Something else? Maybe someone should check and see what animals are doing.