Pothole Season Traced Back to Late January

WOAY-TV (Oak Hill, WV): The roads are quite bumpy and road crews have their work cut out for them this summer, but which week of the winter helped tip off the pothole season?

Chief Meteorologist Chad Merrill explains:

We can trace the pothole season back to the middle of January when it was snowing very hard across the region. There’s a specific index, the Cumulative Thawing Index (CTI), that focused on air temperature impact on the roads. The lower the number on this scale, the better chance the roads will not have a chance to thaw out because of a bitter cold air mass in place. The higher the number, the warmer the temperatures and the better chance the roads will thaw out and snow/ice in the crevasses of the pavement will melt.

The CTI was very low on January 21st and transitioned to the upper end of the scale just one week later. The weather pattern flipped and we made a full transition into a major thaw cycle and the pothole season started.

So, you will have to give crews plenty of time to work through the pothole repairs this summer. Just be very patient as we start the Memorial Day holiday weekend and the travel season gets underway.

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