Our particularly long and snowy winter has resulted in particularly big and ugly snow piles, like the massive mound at the Eden Prairie Center topped with a red shopping cart.

Mount Eden Prairie, which quickly became a meme, is still there, although somewhat shrunken.

Just how long will it — and the thousands of other snow piles around the Twin Cities — linger?

Maybe June. Yeah, June. The month after May.

It takes more than warming temperatures to melt piles of snow, according to Peter Neff, a glaciologist and climate scientist at the University of Minnesota.

The size and density of the mound, the thermal mass and conductivity of the material and the amount of sunshine, humidity and rain can affect the rate of the melt.

Even after a pile shrinks to what looks like nothing more than a small mound of dirt, there may still be an icy core hiding underneath. And the layer of dirt, grime and garbage most snow piles attract can act as an insulative coating that slows the melting of the ice beneath.

You may have as much as two months to wait for the snow pile in a parking lot near you to melt. That gives you plenty of time to start a betting pool on when it'll finally disappear. And be sure to have a farewell toast to winter once it's gone.