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  1. Default i-90 and weather in the fall

    Possibly planning a cross country drive this fall, i-90 most of the way.

    Seattle to boston the last week of sept.

    Boston to seattle the first week of oct.

    I know weather is impossible to predict, but does anyone have thoughts on what I can expect that time of year?

    Especially concerned about the idaho, montana, wyoming, south dakota portion.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO



    Anything is possible, but I doubt you will have any serious issues. However, why not take a different route back? I-80 to SLC, then I-84 only adds about an hour and a half.

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

    Default as you said

    You said yourself that the weather is impossible to predict, and ultimately, that's still what you are asking. The reality is that it would be fairly unlikely to see a winter storms that early in the fall, its certainly a possibility. But the only thing that really matters is the exact conditions at the time of your trip, and there's just no way of knowing what those will be on I-90 or any other route at this time.

  4. #4

    Default No need to worry about what you can't control

    Hello drsparky,

    While I've been back and forth across all of I-90 between eastern SD and western MT, I've never done it any later than mid-September nor earlier than early June. But........

    Snow is most certainly a possibility on either leg of your trip. You'd be most likely to encounter it at high elevation, however, and along I-90 there are 3 named passes and one "pseudo-pass". In the passes the elevation ranges from 4,800' at Lookout (at the MT-ID border) to 6,700' (Homestake Pass, just east of Butte). There's a stretch east and west of Butte, including Homestake Pass, where the elevations remains above 5,000' for about 50 miles. Everywhere else, elevations are mostly in the 4,000' range.

    By contrast, I-80 in Wyoming remains at or above 6,000' for virtually the entire width of the state. It's usually said here in the RTA Forums that elevation is your principal weather-maker out West, not latitude, so many who come here seeking advise about taking a more southern route are advised it's not likely worth the bother.

    The Montana DOT has excellent live webcam coverage at Bozeman Pass, Homestake Pass, Lookout Pass, and a number of other locations. Their snow removal people are The Pros From Dover. I think the worst-case scenario is a freak early storm hits the higher elevations and slows things down for a few hours, at worst, something which can easily be waited out.

    Have fun planning and taking your RoadTrip!


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