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Old 03-09-2016, 12:20 PM   #1
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Weather in May along I-10

Friends and I are planning a trip from Southern California to New Orleans (Nawlins) in May. Our group will consist of two large DP motor homes (with toads) and a smaller gas motor home.

We are concerned that typically May is the start of tornado season, but we are unaware if the route we want to take (I-10) is susceptible to tornadoes or other storms that could be dangerous.

Also, should we avoid any of the large cities (Phoenix, El Paso, Houston) and if so, does anyone have some alternate routes around them?

Any and all info will be greatly appreciated.


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Old 03-09-2016, 12:24 PM   #2
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Us the weather channel app on your phone, relax and have fun.
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Old 03-09-2016, 12:30 PM   #3
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Tornado alley is well north of I 10.
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Old 03-10-2016, 01:05 PM   #4
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A tornado on I 10 would be an abnormality as they are rare in California, Arizona and New Mexico. In Texas, tornado alley starts about 350 miles north just south of the Red River. It's going to be hot east of El Paso as the temps will be heading for summertime by May.
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Old 03-10-2016, 01:22 PM   #5
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Tornados are a minor issue along most of I10 in early summer months. I would be worried more about the Hot, Hotter and Hot & Humid conditions you're likely to face on most of that route in May. Make sure your AC is in tip top shape.
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Old 03-10-2016, 03:16 PM   #6
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Non issue.
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Old 03-10-2016, 03:51 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by lanerd View Post
Also, should we avoid any of the large cities (Phoenix, El Paso, Houston) and if so, does anyone have some alternate routes around them?

Any and all info will be greatly appreciated.


Recommend going through Houston on I-10 Monday - Friday during the hours of 9:00 am - 3:00 pm. Saturday & Sunday any hours.
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Old 03-12-2016, 10:19 AM   #8
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Lots of wind mostly from the SW. In Central TX from the south. Keep eye on weather predictions. Generally good weather.
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Old 03-12-2016, 10:59 AM   #9
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Ron, If you want to avoid Phoenix, take State Rte 85 (about 30 miles West of Phx.) South to Gila Bend. Then take I-8 East to I-10. This will save you time as well as all the traffic of going through Phoenix.
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Old 03-15-2016, 01:18 PM   #10
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Looks like you reside in Ridgecrest, so my first comment will only be marginally applicable. Californians are not used to weather. With a son in the AF, whose assignments have all been in the south for the last decade, we've made this drive numerous times. Forst thing I would suggest is that you get ahold of a couple of good weather apps and compare what they are predicting. But be prepared for a large margin of error. 3 years ago we took I10 in late Februaury back to Kessler AFB. Hit really bad winds between Las Cruces & Junction. Both days, they were not predicted when we started out, but red flag warnings were posted once we were in the middle of nowhere. Coming back, we took I40 in late May. Had to hold up for two days in Albuquerque for winds to subside. That season, tornadoes (which I am phobic about & locals are erroneously complacent about) were not happening. Then the big one in Monroe. About that time we were planning to head thru DFW when weather predictions suggested severe weather might erupt. We stayed south, staying in a nice park in Killeen. There was a tornado that day near Dallas. We spent the majority of our time that winter near the absolutely gorgeous Gulf Shores area of Alabama. Rained 3-4"s about every 3 days. Just returned from taking the Amtrak from LA to NOLA 2 weeks ago. Did Californians even hear about the RV park just east of NOLA that was taken out by a twister (right off I10) with fatalities? The day we drove a rental car from Biloxi to St. Augustine. We stayed just ahead of a storm that closed down I10 near Mobile & produced a twister in Pensacola. In that area, north of I10 is usually thought to be where tornadoes occur. And I believe I10 is shut down right now near the Louisiana border. Watch the weather. About a decade ago we used I10 in July. 116*F in Casa Grande. In Fort Stockton people with towables were talking about having their tires fail due to driving too fast in the extreme heat. Had a heck of a severe thunderstorm just to the north that night. I made sure that trip to quietly leave very early in the morning & find a park by very early in the afternoon. Be prepared to adjust your travel plans in response to the weather. Things are just very different than they are in California. And so far this year, the weather has been pretty crazy. As far as avoiding the big cities along the route . . . Just like in So Cal, avoid them during the peak commuter times. Personally, I hate the drive, especially thru west Texas, but once I get past it, it is absolutely great. And when in NOLA, what we loved best in all of our visits, was the swamp boat ride on the Pearl River out of Slidell. Awesome. Just watch the weather & adjust your plans as need be.
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Old 03-16-2016, 11:05 AM   #11
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We are making a similar trip - leaving Oregon in mid May and traveling from Taos, NM thru Lubbock to TX hill country then to Houston, Lafayette, MS, TN, and then to Charleston, SC.

Did some research on tornado alley and tornado season. Here is some of what I found.
Usually, tornadoes hit specific areas of the United States in specific seasons. During the winter months, tornadoes are usually spotted in the Southern area of the country, as well as states near the Gulf of Mexico.[11] This is due to cold air moving southward reaching its southern limit of expansion, and stopping over the Gulf Coast.[11] As spring comes, hot air progressively moves back into the Gulf Coast. This pushes the mass of colder air forward out of the Gulf States and into the Southeastern states, where tornado frequency is highest in April.[11]

As spring passes and summer begins, the mass of warm moist air moves northwest into the Great Plains and Midwestern states.[11] During the months of May and June, tornado activity is as its peak in the southern Great Plains. The air mass then moves northward into the Northern Great Plains and the Great Lakes area, causing a tornado activity peak in these areas during the summer months.[11] During the late summer and early fall months, tornado activity in the United States tapers off.[11] This is due to the relatively small difference between the temperature at the boundary of the hot air mass and the cool air mass at that time and an extension of the Bermuda High sitting over parts of the United States.[11]

May providence smile on your trip.
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Old 03-16-2016, 02:09 PM   #12
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We get tornadoes here on I-10 in Houston, but not enough to even THINK about worrying about.

Worry more about humidity. It is already hot and sweaty here (45 mins east of Houston), and it is just going to get worse.
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Old 03-19-2016, 09:02 PM   #13
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We may have to go to Hudson Mass. In May to see a sick Aunt. What is the best route to take? #80 or #40?
May is the starting season for tornados and this would be our first trip across the country, we would like to see more scenery than not.
I was thinking #40 to #81 #84 & 90.
Your input would be greatly appreciated. Thank you all.
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Old 03-19-2016, 11:04 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by RVNewbie55 View Post
Ron, If you want to avoid Phoenix, take State Rte 85 (about 30 miles West of Phx.) South to Gila Bend. Then take I-8 East to I-10. This will save you time as well as all the traffic of going through Phoenix.
x2. There are big signs on the freeway that indicate this route as a by-pass around Phoenix.
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