Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Phoenix, Arizona, United States
    Posts
    3

    Default Traveling from Phoenix to Texas Panhandle in Early January

    My best friend from high school is getting married in early January in Texas and since the price of gas right now makes it around 3x cheaper to drive instead of fly, I'm planning a roadtrip.

    My problem is that I have never driven in winter weather outside of the Phoenix area (which does not actually have winter weather). Most of my other trips have been in California, in late spring or summer.

    I haven't been to the panhandle in the winter in years and I'm not sure what the driving conditions between Phoenix and there will be. I'll be driving on the I-40 the whole way, most likely, driving through Northern Arizona and through Albuquerque. I know the route just fine, but I'd like some advice on what the driving/weather conditions are likely to be and what safety precautions or supplies others with more experience think I should have.

    Thanks!

    Edit: I feel I should mention what kind of car I drive, since I know that can impact the safety of a drive. I will be driving a Kia Soul, great gas mileage, but not exactly a Jeep with 4 wheel drive or anything.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,748

    Default The weather will do as it pleases.

    Hello and welcome to RTA !

    No matter what historical data suggests you should expect, the only thing that matters is the weather at the exact time you travel and it's just too early to predict that. Interstates are a priority to keep clear and open but if a bad storm hit you should simply pull off the road and wait it out, so the key to a safe journey is to follow the forecasts prior to leaving and allow enough time for the journey with some leeway. You will need to budget for an overnight stop really. Remember that people travel all year around whether it be a cross country or simply to go to work.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Phoenix, Arizona, United States
    Posts
    3

    Default

    True and I have budgeted for an overnight on the way there and back...I've made that drive in a single day before (in the summer) but I have no intention of doing that again. Luckily my budget is huge since the bride is putting me up at her house for the wedding.

    I hear it's going to be a nasty winter again, so I guess I'll just have to keep an eye out.

    Do the roads typically ice in the panhandle? I mean is it likely that I would need to get chains for my car? I'll be travelling with food, water, blankets and other emergency stuff on the off chance that I get stranded or have to pull off the road for very long.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    No, you won't need chains. If the conditions are that bad you don't belong on the road.

    Realistically, there's a chance of snow and ice on the whole trip once you climb out of the Phoenix area.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    Have done exactly that route, in the opposite direction, late one December a number of years ago. I was driving a Geo Prism at the time -- very lightweight (like your Kia). There WILL LIKELY be winds between Amarillo and Albuquerque -- it was windy then, and we've driven it a number of times at all times of the year and it seems to always be windy.

    And no, that's not a trip to do in one sitting. It's 750 miles from Phoenix to Amarillo -- if it were me, I'd overnight in Albuquerque and drive the rest of the way the next day....475 miles the first day, 275 miles the following. ABQ has a number of good places to stay that aren't too expensive. If you stay towards the east side of town, or even at Moriarty, you won't have to deal so much with the rush hour traffic the next day, if you're there on a work night. Otherwise, Coors Blvd Exit has a bunch of places, on the west side.


    Donna

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,270

    Default

    Moriarty has several hotels right off I-40 and is a very convenient place to spend a night without worrying about morning traffic. You would also be past a section of I-40 that's notorious for closing in bad weather - the canyon between Albuquerque and Moriarty.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Albuquerque, New Mexico
    Posts
    209

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MeredithAncret
    Do the roads typically ice in the panhandle?
    If the weather is bad, yes. Ice, Wind, Snow -- the whole shebang.

    Quote Originally Posted by DonnaR57
    There WILL LIKELY be winds between Amarillo and Albuquerque -- it was windy then, and we've driven it a number of times at all times of the year and it seems to always be windy.
    Yes, it's windy out there. If you ever do any camping in Eastern New Mexico, stake your tent down real good.

    Quote Originally Posted by MeredithAncret
    I mean is it likely that I would need to get chains for my car? I'll be travelling with food, water, blankets and other emergency stuff on the off chance that I get stranded or have to pull off the road for very long.
    It’s always good to be well-prepared, but glc is right, if conditions are that bad, you really don’t want to be out there anyway. The thing is – around here, in January, you can see great weather one week, and cold wintry weather the next. Just keep an eye on the weather forecasts.

    Here’s the link to the New Mexico DOT website. Have a good trip!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Phoenix, Arizona, United States
    Posts
    3

    Default

    Thanks for all the great advice. I'll keep it in mind and keep an eye on the forecast...worst case scenario I just send the gift if weather is looking too hinky for me to drive...luckily I am not a bridesmaid!

Similar Threads

  1. LA to Denver in early January
    By ChristyLyn in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 12-27-2013, 06:42 PM
  2. Traveling from San Francisco to Seattle in early January
    By jasime_bay in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 12-07-2011, 10:46 PM
  3. San Francisco to Atlanta in early January
    By Newbie in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 12-14-2008, 09:05 AM
  4. Floridian looking for Snow Early January
    By shartrax in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 12-02-2008, 12:41 PM
  5. Nashville to Seattle early January
    By Maggie in forum Fall & Winter RoadTrips
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 11-03-2004, 08:28 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
  • Find the Perfect Hotel
    Search RoadTrip Motels
    Enter city name

    Loading...



  • MORE STORIES