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  1. Default Pacific Northwest to Central Texas

    Hello all,

    I've been travelling with my husband for his work and it's looking like I'll have to travel from the Pacific Northwest(most likely Seattle area) home to Austin, Tx in September or October. Possibly November. I am hoping it is sooner, but with his job I won't know for sure. Anyway, I am very worried about having to drive through mountain areas on my way home. Does anyone know what time of year the mountain areas in the Western part of the country start getting snow? I am so very inexperienced driving with any ice and snow so I want to avoid it all together if possible. I will leave early and drive home by myself if I have to to avoid driving in any dangerous situations. If anyone could give me any advice on when the snow will be starting and when I should leave by to avoid it, please let me know. Thank you all so much in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default Think Days, Not Weeks (or Months)

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    Yes, it is possible that you might see snow in the northern Cascades and northern and central Rockies in November. But that is no reason to make the trip in October, or even September or August. Rather than worry about what time of year to return home, all you really have to do is to leave yourself enough time for the drive that you don't have to drive through any snow that might occur during your journey. The drive from Seattle to Austin by the most direct route (I-90/I-82/I-84 to Salt Lake; US-6/US-191/US-491 to the Four Corners area; US-160/US-550 to Albuquerque; I-40/US-84 to Sweetwater TX; TX-70/TX-153 to Winters TX; and US-83/US-87/TX-71 to Austin) would take right around four days at just a little over 500 miles a day, a fairly easily maintainable pace. What you should do, then, is schedule six or seven days for the drive and if you encounter snow that makes you uncomfortable driving just pull up at the first available motel and settle in for a day or so. Fortunately, where you're most likely to encounter untoward weather, in the Northwest and western Rockies, you'll be on Interstate highways for the most part. Those roads receive first priority fro road crews because they are the economic arteries of America. Let the snow stop and give the crews a few hours to plow and salt the roads. And of course you should also make a habit of checking the weather each night before you go to bed and again in the morning before you hit the road to know what you might encounter. But even leaving a couple of months early is no guarantee that you won't see winter weather, while just having a couple of extra days will go a long way towards ensuring that you will not have to drive in it should it happen.

    AZBuck
    Last edited by AZBuck; 07-06-2015 at 07:31 PM.

  3. Default

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

    Yes, it is possible that you might see snow in the northern Cascades and northern and central Rockies in November. But that is no reason to make the trip in October, or even September or August. Rather than worry about what time of year to return home, all you really have to do is to leave yourself enough time for the drive that you don't have to drive through any snow that might occur during your journey. The drive from Seattle to Austin by the most direct route (I-90/I-82/I-84 to Salt Lake; US-6/US-191/US-491 to the Four Corners area; US-160/US-550 to Albuquerque; I-40/US-84 to Sweetwater TX; TX-70/TX-153 to Winters TX; and US-83/US-87/TX-71 to Austin) would take right around four days at just a little over 500 miles a day, a fairly easily maintainable pace. What you should do, then, is schedule six or seven days for the drive and if you encounter snow that makes you uncomfortable driving just pull up at the first available motel and settle in for a day or so. Fortunately, where you're most likely to encounter untoward weather, in the Northwest and western Rockies, you'll be on Interstate highways for the most part. Those roads receive first priority fro road crews because they are the economic arteries of America. Let the snow stop and give the crews a few hours to plow and salt the roads. And of course you should also make a habit of checking the weather each night before you go to bed and again in the morning before you hit the road to know what you might encounter. But even leaving a couple of months early is no guarantee that you won't see winter weather, while just having a couple of extra days will go a long way towards ensuring that you will not have to drive in it should it happen.

    AZBuck
    Thank you so much for all of that info. I really appreciate your help.

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