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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    10,273

    Default

    If it's that bad to require chains, you have no business being out on the road anyway.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    10,299

    Default Chains

    Before you think that chains are going to solve all, or even any, of the problems with driving on snow or ice, I highly recommend that you read this previous thread and the articles it links to.

    AZBuck

  3. #13

    Default

    Great info as always guys. Donna makes a great point on how even I-10 can be a problem because if they ever have a snow/ice event it takes longer for them to address it.

    I am heading to Los Angeles from Chicago on January 15th. I am giving myself 5 days with a two night stopover in Las Vegas. I did this trip in January 2023 and the weather was very good. Dry every day with only a high wind warning in the Texas panhandle/eastern New Mexico. Saw some snow on the ground in Flagstaff but otherwise I-40 was clear. I hit the rains coming into the Cajon Pass near San Bernadino and the road was very foggy. I was a little nervous but people were driving responsibly.

    I will do whatever it takes to get there safely (I drive a sedan with all-season tires) and fortunately I can extend my drive if needed. I have to admit being a severe weather geek, I almost don't mind a little excitement - but of course it's a nightmare to drive in. Having watched way too many pileup videos I try to avoid all interstates or US highways when there is bad winter weather. I do not have chains and don't plan on getting any for this trip. I will have a brand new set of tires put on before I leave and I just got a set of Bosch wipers. Since two of my hobbies are road maps and weather I am pretty aware of my situations on my trips. Fortunately any detour for weather reasons would still appeal to my sense of exploration and that I still love to make it up as I go.

    I will have at least 1-2 "warmup" trips in December when I drive to Detroit/Windsor.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    11,050

    Default heaviest part of El Nino.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ram4 View Post
    I have to admit being a severe weather geek.
    As a fellow weather geek, I am sure you can read weather maps. Here is the background for why I am recommending avoiding I-40 in January! Succinctly put, in January most of Arizona and southern California will be in the heaviest part of El Nino. This means heavy snow along I-40.

    Whereas I-80 through Wyoming and Utah will not have as much snow--based on the current models. Yes, there will be wind and blowing snow. It would still be my top choice on routes.

    Oh, and that is a great post about chains -- see above!

    Mark

  5. #15

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Sedenquist View Post
    As a fellow weather geek, I am sure you can read weather maps. Here is the background for why I am recommending avoiding I-40 in January! Succinctly put, in January most of Arizona and southern California will be in the heaviest part of El Nino. This means heavy snow along I-40.

    Whereas I-80 through Wyoming and Utah will not have as much snow--based on the current models. Yes, there will be wind and blowing snow. It would still be my top choice on routes.

    Oh, and that is a great post about chains -- see above!

    Mark
    I may have to take side roads! It'll be an adventure and as long as I live through it, I will have some great stories if things go south. Since I am not on a strict schedule I have all the flexibility I could want. That being said, it may be interesting. I arrived last year during the tail end of the atmospheric river storms in California they had in December and early January.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    11,050

    Default priority for plows is not attributed to the smaller roads

    Quote Originally Posted by Ram4 View Post
    I may have to take side roads!
    The thing to remember in Winter, is that priority for plows, salt and crews goes to the Interstate Highways -- smaller roads are often the last to be plowed.

    Personally, I prefer unplowed, smaller roads with no truck traffic --but I have years of experience with travel on snow. And, I always know, that if I slide off the road--no one is coming to assist. It will be a self-rescue.

    Our tips article about cold winter travel is still valid.

    And a few more tips

    Mark

  7. #17

    Default

    Thanks for the tips.

    I went to school in Champaign, IL so I am familiar with what you are talking about. I remember riding in a bus back to Chicago during whiteout conditions in February 1991 on I-57. There were cars in the ditch all over the place and they closed the southbound lanes but somehow the northbound lanes were allowed to stay open. I agree that an unplowed snowy side road might be better (where I can go slow and steady) but if I hit the ditch I am on my own. I doubt I would take the locals roads. Hunkering down at a truck stop, restaurant or hotel/motel is even better.

  8. Default From Memphis to San Francisco

    I plan on taking all of I40W with a van, curious if there is anyting that I should be worried about? In regards to el nino.
    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 02-03-2024 at 07:05 AM. Reason: Moved post back to the original thread

  9. #19
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Central Missouri
    Posts
    5,880

    Default I-40

    I-40 has its own issues, as does every interstate highway. Having traveled across on 40 a number of times over the years (and my former truck-driver husband drove it a lot more!!)...

    * No matter what season it is, I-40 will have construction along it. Be prepared for some delays and thrilled if you don't have any.

    * There will be wind on 40 across Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico. It may or may not cause you any issues.

    * You will be climbing in elevation in eastern New Mexico. Amarillo is at 3600', Tucumcari is at 4000', ABQ is at 5300', and Flagstaff is at 6800'. As you probably know, you will be colder at the upper elevations. Watch the forecasts for ABQ and Flagstaff before you leave. After Williams, AZ, you will descend in elevation, as Kingman is at 3300', and within miles you'll be down on the desert floor. This can mean another climate change.

    *I-40 ends at I-15. You can drop south to CA-58 and use it to cross the Tehachapi Mountains to head for I-5 (or CA-99) north.


    Donna

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    10,273

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by kgonzal View Post
    I plan on taking all of I40W with a van, curious if there is anyting that I should be worried about? In regards to el nino.
    Exactly when are you doing this drive?

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