How weather creates potholes

6 Storm Team Weather School

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — You can tell it is almost springtime, right? It is starting to get a little bit warmer out there. There are some flowers starting to bloom, we’re starting to see some pollen and we’re also starting to see some potholes across the area. But do you know how they form? 

Let’s take a look.

Basically, you get traffic, of course, that flows up and down the roads and you get little micro-surface cracks that develop over time. Then it rains, and water seeps into the cracks and gets down below the sub-surface of the road. Then when it gets cold, the water freezes, especially at night this time of year, it freezes. Of course, when water freezes it expands, which pushes the asphalt or concrete up and weakens the roadway. Cars then drive over the top of this after it melts. And as the cars drive over it, it basically caves in that once-raised-up part of the roads. And that’s how you get potholes to form across the area. So, they are directly related to the weather.

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