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Old 04-30-2014, 07:47 AM   #1
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Tornados! Best Route Home?

I'm headed to St. Louis to pick up our "New to Us" Beaver coach this Saturday.

I have to return through what I understand is a fairly active part of the country for tornadoes and would preferably like to keep my coach on the ground while traveling home.

My route will likely try to skirt Kansas. I think I will take Hwy 44 from St. Clair, MO up to I-70 and head west to Kansas City and then head north on I-29 to Sioux Falls, SD and the head west on I-90 to Spokane, WA. From there over to Hwy 97 and north to the Oroville/Osoyoos crossing.

That is unless someone knows a better route they can comment on.

I'd appreciate your input.

Les
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Old 04-30-2014, 08:07 AM   #2
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Dogpatch....here`s the US weather service website we use for our USA travels. National Weather Service I don`t start driving til I`ve looked here. Good ,accurate forecasting and for 7 days.
Watching the news and this tornado stuff is just unbelievable. Truly tragic.
For your route...pick good weather and head north, north west then pick up I 90 to 97. The connective weather activity and instability needed for severe weather develops more in the southern areas this time of the year. Head north.
Safe travels.
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Old 04-30-2014, 09:29 AM   #3
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Our "recipe" for "trying to"staying out of trouble is 1.) Carefully watch the weather forecasts for where we're going and MOST IMPRTANTLY 2.) throw your schedules out!! Be prepared to wait out the weather in a safe place. (We just spent 6 days in Northern California waiting out the storm front that was moving through the Pacific Northwest)!!
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Old 04-30-2014, 09:35 AM   #4
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I would also recommend a NOAA weather alert radio. They are available that operate on battery or AC, and can alert you while you are driving.
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Old 04-30-2014, 10:25 AM   #5
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If you are leaving St Louis Saturday, there is no risk of severe weather along your route Saturday or Sunday. I-70 West out of St Louis I would take I-435 North to avoid going through Kansas City unless you want to stop for BBQ. I-435 North will take you north of the City and hit I-29 North. I-70 through Kansas City has some severe curves (45 mph) and the City congestion. Good luck and safe travels, and congratulations on your new coach, please share pictures!

I also use an app for AccuWeather, forecast is further out and has great radar as does the new Weather Channel App.
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Old 04-30-2014, 02:50 PM   #6
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When I travel back to Omaha from Atlanta I now take Hwy 83 from I-70 at Columbia, MO north to Macon, MO and then west on US Hwy 36 to St Joe and then North on I-29. Many times I went west to KC and then north on I-435 to I-29 north. Several times my GPS said there is a better route available and I though, yeah right. So I gave it a try.

The route from Columbia on Hwy 83 north to Macon and west on US 36. I believe it is now 4 lane the entire distance except in Macon (the only town you actually go into). There are fewer hills, a whole lot less traffic (big trucks) and you miss KC traffic entirely. It is about 40 miles shorter and about an hour faster. You do go through several towns but nearly all of them have bypasses. I think there may be 2 or 3 traffic lights the entire distance.
Do obey the speed limits, especially on Hwy 83.
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Old 04-30-2014, 08:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KT4Wextra View Post
When I travel back to Omaha from Atlanta I now take Hwy 83 from I-70 at Columbia, MO north to Macon, MO and then west on US Hwy 36 to St Joe and then North on I-29. Many times I went west to KC and then north on I-435 to I-29 north. Several times my GPS said there is a better route available and I though, yeah right. So I gave it a try.

The route from Columbia on Hwy 83 north to Macon and west on US 36. I believe it is now 4 lane the entire distance except in Macon (the only town you actually go into). There are fewer hills, a whole lot less traffic (big trucks) and you miss KC traffic entirely. It is about 40 miles shorter and about an hour faster. You do go through several towns but nearly all of them have bypasses. I think there may be 2 or 3 traffic lights the entire distance.
Do obey the speed limits, especially on Hwy 83.
Do you mean Highway 63? That route is 321 miles to Omaha from Columbia, MO; taking I-70 to I-435 is 312 miles. I don't know how you can save an hour on driving more miles on a slower speed limit. I would agree your route may be a little more scenic, but there are not what I consider any big hills from Columbia, MO to Kansas City. Highway 36 is all 4 lane divided highway now so it would't be a long ways out of your way to take that route. The only advantage to me of traveling interstates is if you have an issue there are better facilities for assistance if you need it, but your route would be more scenic from Columbia to St Joseph, MO, but several speed traps on that route both on 63 and 36.
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Old 04-30-2014, 10:12 PM   #8
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You're right about it being Hwy 63. My eyesight isn't as good as it was 60 years ago and the print on the map is pretty small. I gone that way so many times I don't use a map anymore. I think the time saving is the lack of traffic behind the big trucks.
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Old 04-30-2014, 10:37 PM   #9
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For what it is worth, I am a master's degreed meteorologist specializing in severe thunderstorms who used to chase tornadoes (a la what you see on Discovery Channel). You are susceptible pretty much the first two thirds of your route.

That said, I'd take the northern route you show for two reasons...first the interstate in SD is in the best shape of the three...the smoothest ride. Second, severe season generally comes later in May and Jun to SD and the High Plains of Wyoming.

If you take a more southerly route, you are more susceptible to high base thunderstorms with powerful winds in Eastern CO now through the rest of the Summer. KS does have real nice rest areas, though, on I70, with dry camping circles at all East of Topeka. I personally despise Nebraska interstate as it takes you South for extra miles and is not the smoothest ride.
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Old 05-02-2014, 05:33 PM   #10
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Two days of travel (approx). Updates often.

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