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  1. Default NC to WA on I-90 Oct. 7-? Weather concerns!

    Hi all, I was just wondering if there are any weather issues that might need to worry about driving to Seattle, WA from NC if I drive the I-90 route. I heard somewhere that I need to worry about getting snowed on pretty heavily once I get into SD and on up 90 to Seattle. Is this the best way to go in October or should I take a more southern-mid US route? I have driven 90 once before in august and because of how direct it is, would like to take it again. I drive a 2WD nissan (yea I know 4WD is preferred) truck. Can someone please give me route advice so that I can avoid inclement weather? ANy help, comments, suggestions? Is this something I need to worry about this early in Oct.?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Too Early To Be Worried

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    There is simply no way to predict this far in advance what the weather will be like along any particular route. However, I would think that October is early enough that your chances of seeing heavy snow are slim, but not nonexistent. The best thing you can do is plan to take the most direct route, I-90, but watch the weather and have a couple of back-up plans just in case. One alternative would be to simply build an extra day into your travel schedule so that if the worst happens, you can simply sit it out and wait fort the crews to clear the roads. A second alternative would be to have another route in hand. In your case that would be basically I-80 to Salt Lake City and then I-84/I-82 to the Seattle area.


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

    Default still hard to say

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    The forecasts do show a chance of some snow across wyoming and montana late this week into this weekend - although at this point 5 days away is still just a bit better than educated guessing when it comes to weather forecasting.

    While I think its pretty unlikely that you'll have big problems with either route, if you want to play it safe, I'd be looking at taking I-80 across to Utah and then cut up I-84/I-82, where the weather does look to be a bit better at this point. This route is nearly identical in terms of distance, and shouldn't really take significantly more or less time.

    I will also say that I wouldn't worry too much about being 2wd. 4wd certainly can help, especially in heavy snow, it does very little when you are talking about high-speed freeway travel. In those cases, the ability to stop is far more important, and 4wd doesn't do anything in that regard.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    If you are REALLY concerned, look at I-40/CA-58/I-5. The chances of any freezing precip along that route this early are pretty slim.

  5. #5

    Default MT/ID passes

    Hello NC neighbor,

    Excepting Homestake Pass, which reaches over 6,000', the passes in MT and ID are modest in elevation. The majority of the drive across MT on I-90 is at elevations of under 4,000'.

    While it's certainly possible to encounter snow, it's rather early in the season and a major event would be regarded as a freak occurrence.

    I am notably in favor of not adding miles and cities to a planned route solely for the opportunity to dodge weather. Clearly, if a major event is before you, a detour can be in order. What I don't favor is routing to avoid a mere potential of weather. My belief is that miles and cities = risks and a mere potential for weather pales by comparison.

    Have fun planning and taking your RoadTrip!


  6. #6

    Default Right on cue!

    South-Central Montana is enjoying a freak heavy early October snow today! More coming tonight!

    Seriously, look at the Montana DOT webcams. Mr. Google will take you right there. Have a look by, say, 9:00 Mountain time tomorrow morning, and repeat at noon and 3 in the afternoon. My money says you'll see pavement, even in the passes, the whole time.


  7. #7

    Default Sure enough.....

    .......nuttin' but clear, mostly dry, pavement showing across MT as of 0900 MDST today.

    RoadTrip On!


  8. #8

    Default More of the same

    All of the I-90 cams are showing sunshine, dry pavement, and great views of the early snow, as of 2:30pm MDST.

    Travel On!


  9. Default

    I am going to be making the same trip in a week but it is now November do u still suggest the direct route? or should I take the more southern route now?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default reading the future

    What good will going south do you, if there happens to be a storm hitting the southern route during your specific time of travel?

    Since every cross country route can and does see winter weather, taking the direct route is always the best option because that puts you on the road for the least amount of time. The less time you are on the road, the less likely you are to run into a problem.

    The only exception is if there is a specific storm hitting your travel path on the specific day of your travel. If the weather forecast looks bad, and there is another route choice that is similar in distance (I-90 vs I-80/I-84 in this original example) then take the one where the weather looks best.

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