John Wheeler: All this snow will take a long time to melt
The temperature inside the snow is well below freezing, around 20 degrees a few inches down.
FARGO — Warmer temperatures will melt some snow, but a snowpack like this one will probably take two to three weeks or more to melt away. The temperature inside the snow is well below freezing, around 20 degrees a few inches down. That snow and ice must be warmed to 32 degrees before it even starts to melt. On a warm day, some of the snow on top will melt. but then it drops down into the cold snow below and refreezes. This is why the snow in spring look globular instead of flaky.
The snow will melt faster if the weather gets warmer, of course, but two things will cause it to melt much more rapidly. Heavy rain expedites melting because the warmer rain filters down into the cold snow pack. High humidity also causes faster melting because humid air forces the evaporated melt water to refreeze back onto the snowpack, which releases heat as it refreezes, which melts additional snow.