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  1. Default need plan route in winter drive to upstate New York from LA / avoid snowing

    we plan drive from LA to upstate New York, how can we avoid the snow in the end or November or Beginning of December, our car isn't 4x4 drive, worry about the snow, how can I chose a better route ? thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,269

    Default

    Welcome to RTA!

    There's no guarantee that you won't hit snow no matter which route you take. Your best bet is to take well-traveled Interstate highways and try to stay out of the lake-effect snow belts. If the snow is bad enough where you would need 4x4, you don't have any business being out on the road anyway, find a hotel till the storm stops and the roads are cleared. All you need is a decent set of all-season tires and some common sense.

    Exactly where in upstate NY? Need to know before we can suggest a route.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    The reality is that on a cross country trip in Nov/Dec there is no way you can avoid the snow. Every cross country route has the possibility of seeing bad weather at this point of the year, and of course, upstate NY is one of the snowiest part of the entire country.

    The best thing we can tell you is to plan to take the shortest possible route, which puts you on the road for the shortest amount of time, and gives you the most time available to sit and wait for conditions to improve if a storm hits. Also watch the forecasts, as there may be times where you can avoid a storm by taking a slightly different route - but don't assume that means you'll need to go farther south. There are times where going north can keep you clear of a storm, and when storms do hit the south, they usually take much longer to clear.

    Don't worry much about 4 wheel drive. On cross country trips, it really isn't that helpful - the challenging part about driving on the interstates when it's snowing is stopping and 4 wheel drive doesn't help with that at all. Interstates are the first highways to be plowed, and 2 wheel drive cars get by on them just fine. If you actually need 4 wheel drive to make it down an interstate, you're probably better off pulling off and waiting for conditions to improve. It is pretty rare for a storm to cause problems for more than about a day on the Interstates.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default It's Not the Route, It's the Timing

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    There is no such thing as a snow-free route in the contiguous 48 states in December. Even I-10, the southernmost transcontinental Interstate, is subject to snow, sleet, and freezing rain at times in the winter. And when southern routes do get snow, the local road crews don't have the equipment, materiel, manpower, or expertise to deal with it as well as their northern counterparts. You are far better off choosing the most direct, all-Interstate path between your starting and end points, and simply leaving an extra day in your travel schedule to just sit out any snow storm you may encounter. Let the road crews do their job, let the sun come back out, and only then resume driving. I'll also note that four-wheel drive is vastly over-rated for use in the snow. Driving experience and slowing down as conditions demand are far more effective. Also, many cars today are front-wheel drive and that is often as much a help in snow as anything else.

    I will note one-exception to the 'shortest possible route' advice given above, and that is in the Midwest south of Lakes Michigan, Erie and Ontario. There is a weather phenomenon called lake effect snow. This occurs when (relatively) warm air blows over the open water of the lakes, picks up moisture from them, and drops it as snow on the lee (downwind) side of the lake. You are apt to see this southeast of the Great Lakes, but it doesn't extend all that far inland, so I would recommend I-70/I-71/I-76/I-80 instead of I-80/I-90 through Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. That will also save you a bundle on tolls as I-80 follows the Indiana Toll Road, the Ohio Turnpike and (as I-90 in New York) the New York State Thruway. Depending on where you're going in upstate New York, you can take I-79, US-219, US-15, or I-81 north from Pennsylvania into New York.

    AZBuck

  5. Default thanks for your reply, we plan go to Beacon in the upstate New York

    thanks for your reply, we plan go to Beacon in the upstate New York

    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    Welcome to RTA!

    There's no guarantee that you won't hit snow no matter which route you take. Your best bet is to take well-traveled Interstate highways and try to stay out of the lake-effect snow belts. If the snow is bad enough where you would need 4x4, you don't have any business being out on the road anyway, find a hotel till the storm stops and the roads are cleared. All you need is a decent set of all-season tires and some common sense.

    Exactly where in upstate NY? Need to know before we can suggest a route.

  6. Default

    Thanks !!! I am studying on map now, try to make a route with different city's name for each stop, plan stop 4-5 nights on the way.

  7. Default

    Thanks AZbuck, I am heading to the Beacon in upstate, also studying gone map now, try to make a stop plan for every night, plan 5 days on the way;

    reading the plan guide by google map, I don't know is this ok or not, please give me suggestion;

    Day 1 Los Angeles to Las Vegas, then to Richfield; by 15-70 HWY 565 miles

    Day 2 Richfield to Denver; by 70 HWY 466 miles

    Day 3 Denver to Omaha, by 76-80 HWY 541 miles

    ....


    Quote Originally Posted by AZBuck View Post
    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    There is no such thing as a snow-free route in the contiguous 48 states in December. Even I-10, the southernmost transcontinental Interstate, is subject to snow, sleet, and freezing rain at times in the winter. And when southern routes do get snow, the local road crews don't have the equipment, materiel, manpower, or expertise to deal with it as well as their northern counterparts. You are far better off choosing the most direct, all-Interstate path between your starting and end points, and simply leaving an extra day in your travel schedule to just sit out any snow storm you may encounter. Let the road crews do their job, let the sun come back out, and only then resume driving. I'll also note that four-wheel drive is vastly over-rated for use in the snow. Driving experience and slowing down as conditions demand are far more effective. Also, many cars today are front-wheel drive and that is often as much a help in snow as anything else.

    I will note one-exception to the 'shortest possible route' advice given above, and that is in the Midwest south of Lakes Michigan, Erie and Ontario. There is a weather phenomenon called lake effect snow. This occurs when (relatively) warm air blows over the open water of the lakes, picks up moisture from them, and drops it as snow on the lee (downwind) side of the lake. You are apt to see this southeast of the Great Lakes, but it doesn't extend all that far inland, so I would recommend I-70/I-71/I-76/I-80 instead of I-80/I-90 through Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. That will also save you a bundle on tolls as I-80 follows the Indiana Toll Road, the Ohio Turnpike and (as I-90 in New York) the New York State Thruway. Depending on where you're going in upstate New York, you can take I-79, US-219, US-15, or I-81 north from Pennsylvania into New York.

    AZBuck

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,269

    Default

    Beacon is nowhere near the lake effect belts in upstate NY, so this is easy recommending a route. This drive will take 5 full days.

    Suggested route:

    I-15/I-40/I-44/I-70/I-71/I-76/I-80/I-81/I-84

    Suggested overnights:

    Holbrook, AZ
    Shamrock, TX
    Rolla, MO
    Mansfield, OH

  9. Default Thanks glc, I will study on your suggestion

    Thanks, I am studying in it now

    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    Beacon is nowhere near the lake effect belts in upstate NY, so this is easy recommending a route. This drive will take 5 full days.

    Suggested route:

    I-15/I-40/I-44/I-70/I-71/I-76/I-80/I-81/I-84

    Suggested overnights:

    Holbrook, AZ
    Shamrock, TX
    Rolla, MO
    Mansfield, OH

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    Beacon is nowhere near the lake effect belts in upstate NY, so this is easy recommending a route. This drive will take 5 full days.

    Suggested route:

    I-15/I-40/I-44/I-70/I-71/I-76/I-80/I-81/I-84

    Suggested overnights:

    Holbrook, AZ
    Shamrock, TX
    Rolla, MO
    Mansfield, OH
    I'd make one change, as that's a route I travel often to visit my parents in northern Westchester - snow can make 81 north through Scranton, then 84 east to Beacon pretty treacherous with the curves and hills, so I'd suggest they stay on 80 to Parsippany, NJ, then head north on 287, change to 87 north in Mahwah, NJ, then onto 84 east to cross the Newburgh bridge to get to Beacon.

    80 into Jersey is wider and with few curves/hills to worry about, 287 north is very wide lanes with good margins for error, and 87 north from Mahwah has little traffic to 84 to worry much about.....81 & 84 by Scanton has a ton of construction right now and the lanes are narrow (I just did the drive out and back from NY a couple of weeks ago) and the construction did not look anywhere near finished.

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