Ask Storm Team 11: How does weather lead to potholes?

Ask Storm Team 11

Tuesday’s Ask Storm Team 11 question comes from Kathleen White. She asked: “I’ve heard weather makes potholes. Is that true?”

You may hit a pothole when you drive to work or just running errands. Road crews can fill them in but then next year the same area can have another hole. 
When you hit a pothole, it can seriously damage your vehicle or lead to a flat tire. Slow down if you see one. 

Most potholes form in winter months thanks to the weather — specifically rainfall and temperature shifts. 

Over time, our vehicles experience wear and tear but so do our roadways. Cracks can go through the asphalt. 

When we experience heavy rain, and we’ve seen more than our fair share the last three years, water can make it through the cracks and sit right underneath the surface on a thicker layer of rocks and soil.

As temperatures freeze in the winter months, the water freezes underneath and the area of wetness expands. Ice can push the road surface upward. This creates a softness in the roadway. 
Whatever doesn’t dry out from the sun melts making a gaps underneath the asphalt.
A steady traffic pattern allows the road to buckle even more. The more cars that go over it, the bigger it can become. This creates what many call a pothole.

Have a question for Storm Team 11? Click here to submit!

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