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Old 11-08-2012, 09:30 PM   #1
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Snow in Flagstaff

Heading cross country from California to Alabama this Christmas.
Has anyone had experience with the Flagstaff area in December?
I'm concerned about snow and how quick the snowplows come out on I 40.
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Old 11-08-2012, 09:39 PM   #2
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We have done this trip many times living in Kansas and having family in California. One time going through everything was fine at the bottom (east end) and climbing to the top all of a sudden there was snow falling and snow covered roads and everyone was on brakes and slowing down to a crawl..this lasted about 15 miles (give or take) then going back down the other side (west end) there was no snow falling and no snow on the roads and everyone sped back up. What a trip! I didn't see any DOT out but that doesnt mean they weren't on their way. I would venture to say that as soon as the snow starts sticking to the surface the DOT will not be far behind. Safe travels.
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Old 11-08-2012, 10:05 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by debrey View Post
Heading cross country from California to Alabama this Christmas.
Has anyone had experience with the Flagstaff area in December?
I'm concerned about snow and how quick the snowplows come out on I 40.
I spent several years in Tucson Arizona and rode my motorcycle year round even made a few trips to New Mexico in the winter. They were cold rides and spur of the moment and a time I knew there wasn't snow predicted. But neither I nor any of my fair weather friends even thought about a winter ride to Flagstaff or Albuquerque, New Mexico.

You have more than Flagstaff to worry about traveling on I-40, New Mexico and Oklahoma aren't too friendly in snow storms either. I'd suggest you be flexible in making your plans and always have a back-up/alternate trip plan on I-10 through Tucson and the Southern route to and from Alabama. I-40 always had more snow than I-10.

Interstate 10 across the lower portion of the USA is lower in altitude and just enough further south to avoid some (but not all) of the severity from winter storms blowing in from the Pacific. I-10 will take you longer because you will travel farther south than you would on 1-40. It's another choice if your primary route on I-40 looks iffy.

You may not have as much snow on I-10 but you do have some fierce winds on I-10 going across the Continental Divide in New Mexico. I-10 across the Continental Divide is a true vision of a "High Plains Desert." There isn't anything for miles around to stop the wind.

If you have a smart phone get a Weather Channel app and look at the weather radar pictures when making the trip and know when to to stop or divert to another route. Don't put yourself in the position where you think you have to get there or have to get home at a certain time. If you actually do then leave a day or two earlier.

Have a safe and wonderful Holiday.
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Old 11-09-2012, 01:31 AM   #4
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I travel I40 to and from the bay area to Abq every year during Dec and Jan for the last 20 years.

The last 3 years have been the worst, everything from sun, freezing rain and snow. Abq to Kingman or the reverse can be pretty bad. Sometime the snowplows just can't keep up with the weather. Around Williams to Gallup is the worst.

I look at the weather forecast and figure on the worst. At the first sign of nasty weather, I find a RV campground and park and stay there till the weather clears up. Williams has great campgrounds, ditto Abq.

Heading east on I40, you can grab Az 95 South and the head east on I10 and be pretty safe, I10 has always been a good route for that time of the year (do the Phx bypass to/from Casa Grande).

I40 heading west from Abq can be pretty tricky (snow, high winds) so sometimes I'll head down I25 South to Las Cruces, then to I10 West. I25 can have some problems also (wind and snow). Last year I25 was closed for 1 or 2 days due to snow and wind.

I don't drive much, if any, in snow, therefore I'm extra cautions around snow and ice. Pretty much a coward when it comes to having a 40 footer plus a Tahoe sliding around on the highway.

My saying is "I wish I was on the highway than in this campground, rather than wishing I was in a campground than on this highway." Ditto when I fly my plane.

Good luck, Dean
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Old 11-09-2012, 08:21 PM   #5
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Thanks ya'll
I've got some options laid out.
I hope to go I 40 because it's the most direct and I want some new scenery.

Roll Tide.
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Old 11-12-2012, 08:56 PM   #6
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Sorry about the Tide...
All of the above is good advice. Sometimes it is just cold and windy, other times it is snowy, cold and windy. WATCH the weather reports--if it forecasts snow, then be prepared for it. 40 can get shut down in several areas due to drifting snow. In Dec '10, we had cars buried in drifts between Fort Worth and Wichita Falls, so it can happen just about anywhere if the weather turns.
Joe
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