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  1. Default Safest path from Portland, OR to Huntsville, AL in mid-Jan? Winter precautions/tips?

    Hey everyone. I've been reading several threads on the best routes to take for this trip. Google suggests I-84 to I-80 or I-90. Based on what I've read it seems like I-90 is usually better maintained with regards to winter weather and generally an easier trip. I thought about I-5 through CA and across on I-40 but apparently that's not really less risk. I am very unfamiliar with winter driving conditions across the middle of the country. I'll be driving a Toyota Prius. Not really interested in any stops or scenery, just trying to get across quickly and without issue.

    I'm mostly interested in:

    Which route is generally the safest in regards to weather.
    How bad is it really? Am I wrongly worried about it?
    What precautions do I need to take. Do I need tire chains for the interstates?
    Whats the best way to get weather/advisory info day to day while on the trip?

    Any advice is appreciated (and sorry for another which way should I go post!)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Welcome to the RTA Forum, and no need to apologize, we're here to help with routes!

    But it looks like you've done your homework, regarding I-90/I-80/I-40. The biggest factor, however, is something you simply can't know yet, and that's the weather. You really should look at forecasts just before you leave, and base your final decision on which way looks like it will be the most clear.

    Best case, you're looking at a 5 day trip, but have an extra day available just in case you still see bad weather. Chains are generally not needed on the interstate, and you're usually better off waiting until conditions improve than to try to continue driving when roads are so bad that chains are needed.

    Weather info is available in plenty of places. If you have web access, that's an easy way. Otherwise, pretty much every hotel has the weather channel on their cable system, most states have a 511 info phone line, and listening to local radio stations is also a good option.

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