Swinging times, for potholes

Under most circumstances, a forecast that called for a sunshine and a high near 60 on a weekend day in March would be more than welcome.

But this is not the winter to consult “most circumstances.”

 After consecutive days on which Philadelphia’s high reached 65 and 69, the temperature dropped to 21 early Thursday.

That was a dramatic, 48-degree plunge in less than a day – and still well above the biggest drop of day-to-day drop of the season.

On Jan. 2, the high was 60;  the low the following morning was 4. That 56-degree difference was tied for the second-most in the period of record with Feb. 10-11, 1885, 56 to 0.

That is a single degree from the record tandem of March 28-29, 1921, from a high of 82 to low of 25.

As we’ve written, potholes are all about freeze-thaw. Water percolates into the subsurface; freezes; expands, and the paving surface has to contract when the ice melts. That leads to road-crumbling, and blown tires and broken axles.

The forecast sees no relent from the freeze-thaw syndrome, and, yes, snow now looks likely for Monday morning.

Continue Reading