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  1. Default Going to Ozark Alabama from Portland Oregon

    I am going to be driving to Ozark Alabama leaving on Oct. 7th. Can anyone give me any idea about potential issues with snow and ice crossing the Rockies. My sister thinks we should go down to Mt. Shasta and cross there, head to Las Vegas then go on through Arizona and New Mexico. She said we should avoid snow and ice. Others have told me to head east on I 84. I am worried about driving across the Rockies as I am not experienced in driving through ice and snow and am not physically able to put on chains by myself. Can anyone give me information on what conditions maybe like and what route would be the safest to travel?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,292

    Default Relax and have a fun drive.

    Early October rarely presents heavy snow in the Rockies. But the best plan for winter travel is almost always the most direct route. So, yes, the most direct route would be I-84 to I-80 across Wyoming and Nebraska and then SE through Kansas City and Memphis.

    Seriously, I don't think you need to worry about snow, ice or chains this year for an early October trip.

    It will be a gorgeous time to be on the road.

    Relax and have a fun drive.

    Mark

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    11,369

    Default Totally unpredictable.

    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

    Can anyone give me information on what conditions maybe like and what route would be the safest to travel?
    It's just impossible to find a route that you can plan out now that will guarantee you avoid snow and ice in 6 or 7 weeks time, it can be a problem anywhere and the weather is not that predictable so far in advance. Having said that, travelling early October, and if you are looking to stick mainly to Interstate, you would be unfortunate to meet with any major disruption due to snow and ice. Your best course of action would be to keep an eye on the weather forecast and leave the decision until a couple of days before you travel when you have the info in front of you. You won't have trouble finding lodgings as you go. The best way to keep safe is to allow plenty of time for the journey so you can keep relaxed and avoid fatigue. It's a minimum of 5 days driving, but if you can have an extra day or two available (if needed) they may come in handy.

  4. #4

    Default

    Snow problems on the interstates that time of year are highly unlikely. And you would know within a day or two of your planned departure date--our weather forecasters are good enough to do that. I sort of suspect we wouldn't build an interstate highway in the USA if it was going to be closed for 3-4 months out of a year (dead of winter) due to snow. As mentioned above, if you add a couple of days to your travel plan then delaying a day or two due to an imminent storm would not cause havoc in your travel plans.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    5,174

    Default

    If you went down I-5 and then over to Arizona and New Mexico, it doesn't solve the problem of avoiding mountain passes and higher elevations. You'd have to deal with Siskiyou Pass on I-5 between OR and CA. If you took I-40, you're still up at 5000-7000' elevation in AZ and NM, lower in some areas. Though as others have said, the likelihood of a snowstorm in the mountains in early October is not very high. If you went further south, and took I-10, you'd be going several days travel out of your way that could be better put to use by just sitting tight somewhere and waiting out weather.

    One thing to remember about winter travel: interstates were built for year-round use by commercial and military vehicles. That's what their purpose was, when Pres. Eisenhower proposed the freeway system, back in the 1950s. Therefore, because "the goods must get through", the interstates are the last ones shut down in horrible weather, and the first ones to be cleared and re-opened after a shut down.

    Donna

  6. Default Relax and have a fun drive

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Sedenquist View Post
    Early October rarely presents heavy snow in the Rockies. But the best plan for winter travel is almost always the most direct route. So, yes, the most direct route would be I-84 to I-80 across Wyoming and Nebraska and then SE through Kansas City and Memphis.

    Seriously, I don't think you need to worry about snow, ice or chains this year for an early October trip.

    It will be a gorgeous time to be on the road.

    Relax and have a fun drive.

    Mark
    Thanks this relieves my mind a lot I appreciate it.

  7. Default Totally unpredictable

    Quote Originally Posted by Southwest Dave View Post
    Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !



    It's just impossible to find a route that you can plan out now that will guarantee you avoid snow and ice in 6 or 7 weeks time, it can be a problem anywhere and the weather is not that predictable so far in advance. Having said that, travelling early October, and if you are looking to stick mainly to Interstate, you would be unfortunate to meet with any major disruption due to snow and ice. Your best course of action would be to keep an eye on the weather forecast and leave the decision until a couple of days before you travel when you have the info in front of you. You won't have trouble finding lodgings as you go. The best way to keep safe is to allow plenty of time for the journey so you can keep relaxed and avoid fatigue. It's a minimum of 5 days driving, but if you can have an extra day or two available (if needed) they may come in handy.
    Yes I realize that weather can not be planned I was just wondering what the possibilities were. All your answers have been helpful thank you

  8. Default DonnaR57

    Quote Originally Posted by DonnaR57 View Post
    If you went down I-5 and then over to Arizona and New Mexico, it doesn't solve the problem of avoiding mountain passes and higher elevations. You'd have to deal with Siskiyou Pass on I-5 between OR and CA. If you took I-40, you're still up at 5000-7000' elevation in AZ and NM, lower in some areas. Though as others have said, the likelihood of a snowstorm in the mountains in early October is not very high. If you went further south, and took I-10, you'd be going several days travel out of your way that could be better put to use by just sitting tight somewhere and waiting out weather.

    One thing to remember about winter travel: interstates were built for year-round use by commercial and military vehicles. That's what their purpose was, when Pres. Eisenhower proposed the freeway system, back in the 1950s. Therefore, because "the goods must get through", the interstates are the last ones shut down in horrible weather, and the first ones to be cleared and re-opened after a shut down.

    Donna
    That is what I told my sister but she felt that it would be the best route. I liked the northern route as it was more direct. My concern was the rockies. I will watch the forecast and chose closer to when I leave. Again thank you all for your help.

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