Snow is starting to melt, but how long until it's gone?

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story snapshot

You don't have to look too far to find big piles of snow all over the area.

Street corners, parking lots, driveways... it's the result of over five feet of snowfall this winter without any major thaws to knock those piles back down.

Now with milder weather outnumbering the days spent below freezing, they're starting to disappear.

But it might take a while to see some of these bigger piles go away completely.

Just how long will it take to melt, say, a four foot pile of snow at the end of your driveway?

There's actually a couple different equations to figure out the rate of snow melt, but one of the simplest ones requires just the average temperature for a given day, the melting point of snow (32 degrees), and something called the snow melt factor.

That factor takes a number of atmospheric variables into account, and can vary between 0.035 and 0.13.

For the purposes of this exercise, we'll take the middle ground and use .0825.

Looking at our extended forecast, we'll probably only see melting in two of the next seven days.

Using the temperatures expected in the equation, we get about three-tenths of an inch of snow melt.

Beyond that, we have to go off the daily climatological averages to look at potential snow melt totals.

If we see average temperatures, we will have lost roughly another two and three quarters of an inch over the rest of March.

April would see about 30 inches lost, and to make up the rest of this theoretical four foot pile would take until about May 10.

All that being said, this assuming ideal conditions -- no additional snowfall, no rainfall to accelerate the process, and perfectly average temperatures.

And if there's one thing we've found out about this winter so far, it's that it has been anything but ideal.