MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — With this week’s warmer temperatures, we’re starting to see some of the stubborn snow and ice that’s piled up turn to slush.

We are still covered in snow across Minnesota and western Wisconsin, but the experts say that won’t last for long. Here are some answers to some viewer snow questions.

Why are snow and ice melting when it’s not even 32 degrees out?

It’s melting because official temperatures are recorded in the shade. So when meteorologists say it’s 31 degrees, it’s actually 31 degrees in the shade.

In the sun, temperatures can be anywhere from 10 to 15 degrees warmer.

Also, the sun is south of us, and it shines at an indirect angle this time of year. If you watch along Interstate 94, you’ll see that the bank facing south gets a lot more sun than the side facing north.

Will all the snow this year make a dent in the drought?


Even if all the snow melted now, the ground is too frozen to absorb it.

And even when it warms, this snow is only worth about 2 to 4 inches of water, according to WCCO-TV meteorologist Mike Augustyniak.

“That will help, but at this point, the drought is so long and so severe that even that little amount of rain or snow melt would only help a little,” he said.

Finally, when will the snow be gone?

The snow pack is 13 inches — the deepest it’s been all season — and it will take a few weeks to melt.

Augustyniak says snow will melt at 2 to 3 inches a day when the temps are in the 50s, but he doesn’t see that happening any time in the next week or so.