Why you’ll see more potholes in the days ahead

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You may have noticed the daily drive has become a bit more, bumpy lately. As temperatures continue to remain above-average, we'll see more potholes begin to surface on area streets.

Favorable conditions that lead to potholes have been in place for a number of days now. These include moisture at the surface, in our case, the form of rain, and a freeze/thaw cycle. Temperatures during the day rise well above freezing and then fall below freezing overnight.

During these temperature changes, any moisture that manages to seep into the cracks in the pavement will expand as it freezes overnight.  This acts to push the crack open even wider, causing the pavement to sink. Our recent rains have left plenty of moisture underneath the breaks in the pavement.

As heavy traffic moves over the affected area, it will continue to loosen the pavement and eventually tear off the top layer exposing the pothole to unsuspecting motorists. Sometimes even the loose pavement can become a hazard if it remains intact and on the roadway.  This can be especially dangerous on interstates and other roads that contain higher speed limits.

Be on the lookout for more of these as conditions will remain favorable for pothole development in the next few days with temperatures rising and falling both above and below freezing.

Meteorologist Andrew Stutzke

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