A Stronger Sun

The lack of snow in the past couple of weeks have made for excellent travel conditions on the main roads, but many city streets and parking lots remain ice covered.  That will likely be changing soon and not necessarily for the reason you may think. The one obvious reason that the secondary roads will be improving soon would be the rise in air temperatures, but there is another more subtle reason, the Sun.

As the Sun angle slowly increases, you will notice even on days with an air temperature well below freezing, that melting will take place on area roads on a sunny day.  Although the stronger Sun will help with clearing the roads and parking lots from the abundance of ice, it also tends to cause problems.  The melting that occurs will freeze nearly every night meaning slick spots each night.

That melt and freeze cycle also creates something that will be very common in the coming weeks, potholes.