People all across the Midwest are more than happy to bid farewell to the polar vortex that left them in the deep freeze this week. In places like Duluth, Minnesota, folks woke up to much warmer weather Wednesday as the temperature was just -30 with wind chill. Even though that is still ridiculously cold, it is a 20 degree rise from Tuesday. The polar vortex is on its way back to Canada while at the same time warmer, southeastern air is beginning to push up from the Gulf to warm things up considerably in many states including Minnesota.
Folks living in the Chicago area are used to bundling up during the winter but even there the temperatures were bone-chilling cold this week. The city of Chicago only saw a high of just 3 degrees on Tuesday. But, Thursday’s high should reach a more comfortable 25 degrees above zero. Then, by Friday, the temperature in the Windy City should hover above the freezing mark. That means all those extra layers of clothing can come off but the warming trend to come is sure to cause all types of problems ranging from roadway flooding to burst pipes and ice dams on roofs.
Meteorologists are warning that the warmup along with rain that’s being forecast in some areas in the Midwest this weekend could cause flooding in locations where ice can become jammed on rivers and streams. And, if the temperatures reach 45 or 50 degrees as they’re expected to do in many areas, once-frozen pipes inside homes and businesses can expand and burst from the pressure.
Frozen and burst pipes have been keeping plumbing services extremely busy over the past couple of days as water pipes have been problematic in scores of schools, businesses and homes in numerous states. It’s very likely that most plumbers won’t be able to catch up on their sleep anytime soon as the warmer weather is sure to cause more burst pipes. This is because it’s common for frozen pipes not to start spewing water until temperatures warm up in several days or even weeks.
Ice dams are also something for home and business owners to concern themselves with as the temperatures climb upward. An ice dam is a blockage on a roof that’s created by melting snow that refreezes. If ignored, an ice dam can destroy a roof and its gutters. It can also cause water to leak into the home or building wherein entire rooms can sustain substantial damage.