AGAWAM, Mass. (WWLP) - Changes in the temperature above the ground have a big effect on how hard the ground is below.
A deep frost can stop you from planting, but it can also put construction projects on hold because the ground is too hard.
Typically in the winter, the ground is frozen about 12-18 inches deep, but our warm winter last year kept frost to a minimum, and our milder weather the past couple of weeks has reduced our frost depth to between two and four inches.
Michael Saliba, president of Hastie Fence, keeps a close track of frost depth before working on fence installation. He noticed that the February Nor'easter affected frost development.
"The snow tends to insulate the ground, keeps the frost from going down, and that big snow storm we had a couple weeks ago put an end to all the frost that we were getting," Saliba said.
Before the snow storm, we had about 17 inches of freeze, but the insulating snow combined with some warm days afterwards really reduced that frost.
The frost generally starts thinning permanently by the end of March as the days and nights get warmer. If our recent pattern of mild days and cool nights continue, we could keep seeing fluctuations in freeze depth.