Weather Patterns – Spring

Posted by on Feb 29, 2016 in Oklahoma Weather | Comments Off on Weather Patterns – Spring

Weather Patterns – Spring

As you’ve probably heard, El Nino has been wreaking havoc on our weather.  We’ve had major flooding over both Thanksgiving and Christmas, 80 degrees and sunny in February – and while not related to the weather, let’s not forget that Oklahoma is now the earthquake capitol of the country.

All of these things affect what problems home owners face, and every season is different.  Let’s take a look at what the first blush of spring is doing to our region.

Frost Heaves

I’m from Alaska, and lived in an area where residential roads weren’t paved.  The city refused to waste the money: every spring the ice melts, the roads thaw, and suddenly there’s a brand new crop of pot holes.

But that’s Alaska, and to be expected.  Who expects frost heaves in Oklahoma?  Well, Oklahoman’s do – especially in the last few years.

Frost heaves occur when the moisture in the soil freezes.  Ice takes up more space than water, so as the ice crystals expand, so does the soil around them.  Then spring comes and those ice crystals melt, leaving air pockets and compacted areas of soil, altering the terrain.  Because of Oklahoma’s uniquely temperamental weather, this freezing and thawing can happen multiple times over the course of a winter (which only makes the problem worse).  

Now, frost heaves don’t just affect our roads, they affect anything sitting on our soil.  So if you see a lot of new pot holes in your street or neighborhood, it might be worth your time to take a look around your home for the signs of settling that I discussed in this post.


Something we’re well aware of and used to is flooding.  Oklahoma, particularly the Northeast, sits on a flood plane that lives up to its name every spring.  When our beautiful thunderstorms hit and bring those heavy rains with them, they knock out any air pockets frost heaves may have left as well as washing away some soil when the water finally drains away.  Thankfully a well-planted yard will help curtail that erosion, but it’s still important to check your home for issues after any major flood.


In the grand scheme of things, our earthquakes tend to be on the mild side.  You might feel a little bit of a shake or hear your dishes rattle, but for the most part they’re more a point of interest than a safety hazard.

Unless, of course, you’re something in or dependent on the ground that is literally shaking apart.  

Our earthquakes may be year-round, but when you combine them with the above two geographically-impactful seasonal hazards, things can get a little more hairy.  That final jolt may be all your driveway needs to spring a new crack, or all your piering needs to settle on one side.  Unfortunately for us, no amount of crepe myrtles will stop an earthquake from affecting our land, so the best thing you can do is be mindful of the shifting geography and, again, be proactive about watching your home for new issues.


Spring is easily the most tumultuous season for Oklahoma.  Once we get through the floods, thunderstorms, and tornadoes it’ll be smooth sailing…right into the triple digits.  So put up your feet and have a nice hot cup of tea, while it’s still cold enough to enjoy it!