New Jersey is full of many seasons that are not just limited to the weather. Yes, there are many we share with the entire country, but some are more unique to The Garden State.

Some of the more common seasons have to do with the holidays. Aside from the most obvious with Christmas and Thanksgiving, we all collectively tend to define the summer season as between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

Then there are those seasons that are a bit more unique to us. For example, there's the summer shore season.

No other state goes through what we do when it comes to how our beaches operate in the summer, nor do they have a fancy nickname for people who visit from New York or Pennsylvania.

Crash on the northbound Pakrway at the Driscoll Bridge
Crash on the northbound Pakrway at the Driscoll Bridge (NJ DOT)

New Jersey is also unique when it comes to Halloween. Yes, Halloween is also celebrated collectively across the country. It's the night before that's unique.

Mischief Night is one of those special things we have that help define life in The Garden State. And so far, all of these special seasons are wonderful when it comes to being in New Jersey.

However, there is one particular season that comes our way every year that typically coincides with the kickoff to spring. And it's a season we don't really look forward to, especially with our cars.

Large pothole in Montreal, Canada.
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It's the dreaded pothole season. That time of year when our roads form more holes than a slice of swiss cheese.

And the damage they can do to our vehicles is not pleasant. Especially to our tires and shocks, which absorb the brunt of it.

We know all too well New Jersey's pothole season can be brutal. And with how heavily used our roads are, our pothole situation seems to be worse here than in many other states.

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With that said, something different seems to be happening this year. Is it just me, or do the potholes seem to be forming much sooner this year than in the past?

Ever since we got into January, I feel like these craters have been forming in full force at a much more rapid rate. And of course, that gets the mind going as to why that might be happening.

Now before I share my theory, let me just say it's not based on any type of scientific study. Rather, it's based on what we already know when it comes to the formation of potholes.

I wonder if that extreme cold snap we had over the Christmas holiday, followed by an extreme warm-up had anything to do with accelerating the process of pothole formation?


Think about it for a moment. We already know that freezing and thawing of water play a major role when it comes to pothole formation, but it's not the only factor.

Road salt and brine can also wear down our roads, especially when mixed with rainwater. And there was quite a bit of salt and brine on our roads just before New Jersey entered its deep freeze cold snap.

Prior to the frigid temperatures arriving, we had a lot of rain and warm temperatures. However, our road crews had a very small window to treat our roads to be ahead of a potentially dangerous flash freeze.

A truck prepares the roads for the incoming snow storm. (Dan Alexander, Townsquare Media NJ)
A truck prepares the roads for the incoming snow storm. (Dan Alexander, Townsquare Media NJ)

Could those extreme conditions have played a role in kick-starting our famed pothole season? And could temperatures regularly going above freezing during the day and dropping below freezing at night be keeping that pothole formation going?

Yes, potholes form every year in New Jersey, and it's a season we dread. But I can't be the only one who's noticed them springing up at a seemingly faster rate this year.

Have you noticed this, too? Feel free to share where you've noticed potholes so far this season in the comments.

old highway with holes and snow. Landscape road potholes in cloudy winter weather. concept absence of timely repair of highway.
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