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Old 02-25-2013, 01:49 PM   #1
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Snow advice, FL to MN this week

We're aiming to head north on I75, I24, I57, I35 from Florida to Minneapolis, MN in the next week. We do, of course, aim to avoid snow, and we've been studying Weather. com and the road trip planner at Road Trip Planner | Weather Underground
However, this second site seems much more pessimistic about snow, and I'm having difficulty making sense of the two sites in combination.
I'm particularly concerned about the long steep grades on I24 (or 75?) near Chattanooga. We're not hauling the trailer, but I can imagine those grades could be a real problem in snow.
It certainly looks as if the end of this week gets better. I'd appreciate some guidance from those experienced in dodging snow on the Interstates.
Nick.
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Old 02-25-2013, 02:01 PM   #2
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Well, I can tell you, I have driven the Chicago to Minneapolis route MANY times with work in all kinds of snow and ice. I just keep going, usually in a AWD or 4WD vehicle. Northerners are pretty adept at snow and ice removal. I've been slowed to 40 - 50 mph DURING extreme and heavy snowfall, but never had to stop and call it quits and get a room.

I did get stranded in Marshall, MN during a blizzard once though (very high winds closed the interstate) That's relatively rare though.

I see you're from FL and I understand your apprehension, but I don't think you should worry too much and if you find yourself in a snow situation, find a "sponser" who is travelling at a safe speed and follow behind at a safe distance. Watch for his "wiggles" and back off if you see some.

Worst case.....get a room, a meal, a drink and relax till the road crews get it sorted out.
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Old 02-25-2013, 02:11 PM   #3
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I see you're from FL
Thanks for the advice, Rich. We're actually snowbirds from England. I've just found an Interstate Forecast map on weather.com, but I don't know how reliable it is. We don't have these issues in Cornwall!
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Old 02-25-2013, 03:51 PM   #4
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Personally, I like the WeatherUnderground site. But the two are both now under The Weather Channel. Be careful, be willing to stop if you feel uncomfortable. And did anyone tell you that most folks avoid Minnesota until May?
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Old 02-25-2013, 03:58 PM   #5
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And did anyone tell you that most folks avoid Minnesota until May?
Our son married a girl from MN, so home is where the heart is. I'll look at WeatherUnderground, thanks.
Nick.
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Old 02-25-2013, 04:06 PM   #6
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I have run I75 from Chattanooga to Atlanta in an ice storm in a semi (back in the 70s). That is probably just one of the reasons I'm on 5 different blood pressure meds now. Try to wait a couple of days and run in safer conditions. Sal
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Old 02-25-2013, 04:07 PM   #7
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Nick,

Try this App: NOAA Hi-Def Radar.

The Weather Channel is also good.

Let me know when you get in, we'll have lunch at Biaggi's.

-Don
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Old 02-25-2013, 04:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nickcrowhurst View Post
We're aiming to head north on I75, I24, I57, I35 from Florida to Minneapolis, MN in the next week. We do, of course, aim to avoid snow, and we've been studying Weather. com and the road trip planner at Road Trip Planner | Weather Underground
However, this second site seems much more pessimistic about snow, and I'm having difficulty making sense of the two sites in combination.
I have lived in the Minneapolis area most of my life.

Winter weather forecasts are very good for the upcoming 12 hours, reasonably reliable out to 48 hours, and speculative beyond that. Check the weather right before you plan to leave, not in advance.

Quote:
I'm particularly concerned about the long steep grades on I24 (or 75?) near Chattanooga. We're not hauling the trailer, but I can imagine those grades could be a real problem in snow.
I've driven that route a number of times. It's not especially steep in the greater scheme of things. I would not avoid it for reasons of weather except during a severe storm.

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It certainly looks as if the end of this week gets better. I'd appreciate some guidance from those experienced in dodging snow on the Interstates.
Snow by itself is ordinarily not an impediment to travel.

On interstates in the eastern U.S. you would only have to worry about snow combined with heavy winds, or freezing rain, or unusually heavy snow.
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Old 02-25-2013, 04:15 PM   #9
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Sal, good advice. I'm thinking of leaving on Thursday.

Don, thanks for that link. I'll certainly contact you for lunch. We have several days before flying home to the U.K.
Nick.
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Old 02-25-2013, 04:23 PM   #10
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On interstates in the eastern U.S. you would only have to worry about snow combined with heavy winds, or freezing rain, or unusually heavy snow.
Jammer, thanks for the advice. I'm rather haunted by one trip a few years ago down I95 through the Carolinas. We saw a storm coming, and took the first exit to find a motel. The next morning the storm had passed, but the bridges were iced, and at the first bridge a 5th wheel was on its side, and at the second bridge an Avion travel trailer was on its side, partially blocking the road, and at the third an 18-wheeler blew by at 70 mph, while we were at walking speed. I don't wish to repeat that experience.
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Old 02-25-2013, 06:13 PM   #11
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Remember that southern states do not have equipment to deal with snow or ice removal and a little snow can cause road delays, however the delays are usually short lived on the major hyways. Monteagle Mountain, elevation 1,923 ft, on I-24 between Chattanooga and Nashville can be a truckers nightmare in inclimate weather. The east bound desent is the biggest problem, but both sides are steep on desent. Have you considered going from Atlanta to Birmingham, then Nashville? I have never made that trip so I can't comment on the road conditions, but the winter weather can be worse in northwestern Aalabama than in the Chattanooga area.
Good luck and stay safe in your travels
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Old 02-25-2013, 06:16 PM   #12
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Remember that southern states do not have equipment to deal with snow or ice removal and a little snow can cause road delays, however the delays are usually short lived on the major hyways. Monteagle Mountain, elevation 1,923 ft, on I-24 between Chattanooga and Nashville can be a truckers nightmare in inclimate weather. The east bound desent is the biggest problem, but both sides are steep on desent. Have you considered going from Atlanta to Birmingham, then Nashville? I have never made that trip so I can't comment on the road conditions, but the winter weather can be worse in northwestern Aalabama than in the Chattanooga area.
Good luck and stay safe in your travels
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PS you can find information regarding Monteagle on Wikipedia!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 02-25-2013, 06:50 PM   #13
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Remember that southern states do not have equipment to deal with snow or ice removal and a little snow can cause road delays, however the delays are usually short lived on the major hyways. Monteagle Mountain, elevation 1,923 ft, on I-24 between Chattanooga and Nashville can be a truckers nightmare in inclimate weather. The east bound desent is the biggest problem, but both sides are steep on desent. Have you considered going from Atlanta to Birmingham, then Nashville? I have never made that trip so I can't comment on the road conditions, but the winter weather can be worse in northwestern Aalabama than in the Chattanooga area.
Good luck and stay safe in your travels
Thanks for that link regarding Monteagle. It confirms my suspicions. On the way south I came via Cape Girardeau, Memphis, and Montgomery, and that might be a useful option.
Nick.
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Old 02-25-2013, 07:38 PM   #14
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Hi Nick.

I was busy today and didn't catch the weather forecast, but our daughter and a neighbor both said we have bad weather coming starting tomorrow with snow and ice and then snow the rest of the week. (Neighbor was on her way out to stock up on groceries so they won't have to go out for a while.)

I realize you won't be going through Ohio, but our weather comes from the West, so across the area you will be driving through. The interstate is not a place to get stranded in heavy snow/ice storms, please be prepared with extra blankets, water, food, and charged cell phones.

Deb
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