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  1. Default Going from Chicago to Cleveland and back, mid December

    Hello there.

    I have to make a trip from Chicago to Cleveland, on December 13th, and back to Chicago on December 15th. Seeing this crazy weather going on up there, how are the odds that I encounter heavy snow on the way? I-90 is the best way?
    I cannot be delayed too much, since I have a flight back to Brazil early on December 16th.

    Would a train be safer?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default 50/50 at this point.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    It's just too early to tell what the weather will be doing at the exact time you are on the road this far in advance, so at the moment I guess that puts your odds at 50/50. Interstates are a priority to keep clear and open and as it's the most direct route I90 looks to be your best bet, if there is a better alternative I'm sure someone will be along. You will just have to check the forecasts closer to your departure time and decide whether or not things are too risky to guarantee you catch your flight or not and check the train schedules.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Impossible to say

    It's just way too far out at this point to even have a guess about what the weather might look like for your trip next month.

    Right now, while Buffalo is being hit by a once in a lifetime snowstorm, if you go 100 miles in any direction - including Cleveland, they've seen very little snow and there are no travel issues. And even in Buffalo, a month from now this storm will have zero impact on travel.

    The only thing you'll be able to do is watch the weather forecasts in the days before you make this trip, because that's the only way to know if you're likely to see problems. I'd say your biggest concerns will likely be the short timeframe you've got for this trip - if there is any major snow on the 15th, it could create a big problem to make your flight the morning of the 16th.

    I think train service may be a problem for you, simply because of the schedules. I believe the only Amtrak routes between Chicago and Cleveland both run essentially overnight - Leaving Chicago in the evening and getting to Cleveland in the AM, and then leaving Cleveland in the evening and getting to Chicago in the morning. Amtrak is also subject to significant delays at times, and that would very much be true if there is winter weather.

  4. Default

    So I guess I'll keep an eye on the forecasts until a couple days before the trip. If there's something bad in the way, I'll be forced to get an overnight train or just cancel it.

    I rented a compact from hertz, something like a Ford Focus. Would that be ok for the trip or I'd better get a bigger car?

    Thank you very much!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    A compact car should be just fine for your trip.

    In addition to trains, if you don't want to drive, you could look at bus service, through either Megabus or Greyhound. I'd just warn that any weather that impacts your ability to drive will also likely impact both trains and buses.

  6. Default

    I have driven from Detroit to Cleveland many winter days. There is a good.chance of snow but a poor chance of heavy snow. The really heavy snow falls usually begin the week after Christmas, so a snowfall that closes the turnpike is unlikely.

    The thing to realize is that even a minor snowfall can cause traffic to slow to a snails pace until the salt trucks get out. They are pretty good at salting the expressways though, and once salted speeds are back to normal

    Two things that can really make a difference are drifting snow and extremely cold temperatures. Salt is ineffective at sub zero. Neither are likely in December. Your biggest concern will be slow driving if it is snowing. Dont believe the Google Maps time estimate. Just take it easy and stay safe.

  7. Default

    Thank you all, it's been very helpful.
    I'm much less worried now!

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