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As we have previously mentioned in an early post, a warm up is in store for the area this weekend into the beginning of next week as well as a risk for ice jams that could cause some flooding for areas along the rivers. That is not the only flooding issues that we could see though.
Soil temps from the NWS (click for data) at 2″ below the surface range in the 22-29F range across Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin. I unfortunately was only able to find one measurement out of Kane County down to 4″ below the surface that is around 32F. So, “what does that mean and why does it matter?” you maybe asking. Soil temperatures are taken daily during the winter to show frost depth, or where the soil is at or below 32F. Frozen soil limits infiltration of water and can lead to more runoff of rain and snowmelt, which is important for hydrologists, because more run off means increased river levels.
Now you’re probably saying, “I don’t live near a river or stream, so why should I care?” Once this snow starts to melt and we start seeing the rain Sunday evening into Monday, if you haven’t cleared a path for the water to run away from your house, it could end up in your basement or other low lying areas around your residents that you might not want. Also remember, it is still winter, so when our temps dip to at or below freezing at night, those areas of ponding water could refreeze leading to more problems that no one wants. So with that being said, below are a few helpful hints to remember to prevent this from happening:
- Clear a path in the snow or ice away from downspouts allowing for the water to run away from your home or business
- Move snow away from the foundation
- Clear snow and ice out of window wells
- Be sure drains along the roadways are also clear of any snow, ice, or debris to allow for runoff to drain properly and not pond on the roads
- Clear a path to areas you don’t want water to pond
- As temps start to drop at night, watch for black ice if you are out and about
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