Why won't the snow melt?

Updated: 02/04/2014 11:00 PM | Created: 02/04/2014 10:50 PM
By: Caleb James, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Monday night's snow storm across New Mexico is fueling a homespun conspiracy theory.

YouTube videos posted by New Mexicans show people taking a lighter to tightly packed snowballs from what fell overnight.

Miraculously, the snow doesn't melt.

"It's a little disturbing I must say," says a male voice in one of the videos. "It's kind of like burning plastic or something."

The clips started popping up on They claim to show sinister Albuquerque snow stubbornly refusing to melt.

KOB Eyewitness News 4 tried it out for ourselves.

Reporter Caleb James searched far and wide for some snow left over from Monday's storm.

He packed it into a little ball, and we took our lighter to it.

If we weren't suspicious before, we were after the experiment. Our snow didn't melt either.

"We are not under attack, we're not in trouble," said KOB lead forecaster Eddie Garcia. "The snow is evaporating before it can turn into water."

Garcia says when tightly packed snow is directly heated, the melting process just kind of skips the melting part.

But that doesn't explain the charred effect on the snow in the YouTube clips.

"It's exhaust," said Garcia. "You have fuel in the lighter, and it's basically depositing the gas and staining the snow."

Turns out, our snow is perfectly average.

Of course, Garcia says it's entirely possible for there to be some contaminants in the snow from pollution and traffic, but that's common in all metro areas.

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