You usually see these holdouts in parking lots, where snow-clearing equipment has piled the snow into big, hard-banked islands through the winter. The remnants are black with dirt, crystalized, an unappetizing reminder of the previous winter, kind of like the frozen dog leavings you find in your back yard when the snow melts there.
Well, Edmonton has one of those piles, writ large. And it just melted.
According to the Edmonton Journal, the city has announced the final remains of last winter's snow pile at its west-end storage site officially melted at 4 p.m. last Saturday. You have to wonder who was assigned to watch and report that precise time.
Historically, Edmonton's snow pile usually disappears around July. The city said cooler-than-usual temperatures were responsible for the late melt this year.
Edmonton has five snow-storage sites holding the product of clearing efforts from major roads through the winter. Last winter was longer and snowier than usual. By January, crews had stockpiled more than 900,000 cubic metres of snow, compared with the annual average for a whole winter of about 800,000 cubic metres.
The west-end pile was still about three metres high at the beginning of September and it took several days of unseasonably warm weather to speed the remnants of the pile into the ground.
"Break out your flip-flops," Mary Siobhan O'Brien tweeted in response to the report."
"Sometimes I miss Alberta," apparent expat Pat Kiernan tweeted. "Sometimes not."
The city's yards are now ready for this winter's accumulation, which could start as early as November.