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Old 05-21-2013, 08:08 AM   #1
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Driving across country...watching the weather!

I'm leaving in a couple of weeks to drive across the U.S. With some of the recent tornados that have been on the news, how should I approach a trip like this? I plan on keeping tabs on the weather via TV and my radio, but what do you do if you find out there's a big one coming and you're getting real close to it? Some of you folks must have had experience with situations like that?
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Old 05-21-2013, 08:15 AM   #2
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At each stop we always find out what county we are in as most tv warning are by county not city
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Old 05-21-2013, 09:09 AM   #3
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If you have an I-phone or equivlant you can load several apps, one in particular from national weather service that will give you specific weather for specific locations. we have traveled from CA to DC and are presentliy dodging our way home. probably will use interstate 10 due to fewer "problems"
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Old 05-21-2013, 09:20 AM   #4
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Last June we were going from Denver to NW Fla. We had a flexible schedule, so we waited until there was a clear forecast in hurricane alley for the next 5 days, and hit the road with long days and no extended stops on the schedule. It worked out well, but I was tired from all the driving when we got to FL.
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Old 05-21-2013, 09:47 AM   #5
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The app imap weather service is great. You can use it as it can track current location and give you instant warnings.
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Old 05-21-2013, 10:35 AM   #6
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We have traversed the country several times via I-40. Always at this time of year, we keep an eye on the weather and when we stop for the night I have the weather alert radio on for the county we are in....We usually don't linger when going thru Oklahoma or Arkansas....first time thru we were sort of startled to see that the campground we stopped at had a Tornado Shelter......
Once in Oklahoma we were camped in a State Park, Red Rock, I think, anyways it was in a canyon and when a terrible t-storm came thru we got sort of concerned, ranger told us not worry as any twisters went right over the top of the canyon and not in it....but the water sure did rise in the arroyos
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Old 05-21-2013, 11:56 AM   #7
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We've travelled tornado country several times and always use a weather radio and the weather channel and our satellite radio. My wife also has a couple of appropriate apps on her iPhone to assist while we are on the move. When we check in we verify our county location and ask about the closes tornado shelter. Routine procedure for us. We find that is also helpful when doing interstate driving for forecasting weather along our route.

Of course if possible, we try to drive that part of the country after the season has ended.

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Old 05-21-2013, 01:19 PM   #8
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Having a weather radio is great if you know the county you are in. The best way is to try and travel when the 7 day forcast doesn't show any severe weather, but we all know how that can change. The weather apps for your smartphone are very helpful. The last time we were in that kind of situation the radio station we were listening to warned us of a tornado sighting 30 miles west of where we were so we pulled over for a while and let it pass. Good luck, Be safe!!
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Old 05-21-2013, 06:46 PM   #9
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After watching the news tonight, I think I would stay home for a while..such heart break and tragedy.
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Old 05-21-2013, 07:07 PM   #10
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In addition to all of above, I use attached website for trip planning.

Interstate Forecast Welcome
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Old 05-21-2013, 07:16 PM   #11
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There are times when vigilance brings an exit, at a lateral tangent to the threat.
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Old 05-21-2013, 08:10 PM   #12
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I have been using Pro Weather Alert. We are traveling between Tennessee and north Texas, as these storms have been happening this product has been excellent at sending alerts. One of the really nice features its that it maps your location against where the alerts are happening, makes it nice when you are unfamiliar with the counties around you.
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Old 05-21-2013, 09:14 PM   #13
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NWS - National Mosaic Enhanced Radar Image: Full Resolution Loop

This gives you weather radar for the whole country. Click on any given area for more details.
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Old 05-21-2013, 09:20 PM   #14
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If you are asking what to do if you are close enough to see it, don't try to outdrive or outrun it. They are unpredictable. Park the rig, get out, and take shelter. Best places roadside are in a drainage ditch or under an overpass right at the top under the cover of the roadway above. You may lose your rig, but after you see what happens to it you will be glad you were not in it. Thank God I know this from education, not personal experience.
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Old 05-21-2013, 09:31 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by cdigger67 View Post
Having a weather radio is great if you know the county you are in.
If you have any internet access at all, finding out what county you are in takes one Google search on a phone or laptop. If this seems too difficult just Google: [any city you are near] and county

Once you know that you can go here: NOAA Weather Radio and get the SAME codes for the area you are located in. The SAME codes keeps your weather radio focused on your immediate area and limits the chances of being awakened during the night for alerts that aren't near you. You don't have to have the SAME codes to make your radio useful, it just reduces the number of false alarms.
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Old 05-28-2013, 04:24 PM   #16
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I find online a state map showing all the county boundaries and names and print it out so we can check it as we listen to weather. Try googling 'state name county maps'
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Old 05-28-2013, 05:36 PM   #17
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The radio that came with our 2013 View automatically switches to the strongest Weather Band station that is closest to you when there is a alert.... (you have to have it on) Saved my Bacon in Ohio earlier this year. I was able to pull over and listen to the radio and determine where we were using GPS. We stayed put for about 45 minutes and let it go ahead of us. Other wise we would have drove right into it....
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Old 05-28-2013, 07:09 PM   #18
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Some GPS's will tell you the county you are in. My older Garmin does not but my newer (Christmas present) RandMcNally 7720 displays the nearest town to our location and the county we are in. Our dash radio has weather channels so hopefully we'll be able to monitor weather. We are crossing west to east leaving Sunday and are concerned about the weather and will be cautious. We have never experienced a tornado but lived on a sailboat in the Caribbean for a few years and have been close to hurricanes so we have a great respect for what winds and water can do. We'll be going I-10 hoping to be south of the real bad ones but will stop or detour as necessary to be safe.
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Old 05-28-2013, 07:25 PM   #19
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I'm a pilot. I run into this all the time. Getting caught in a storm in a small plane will kill you, so weather planning is important.

You need to find good sources for weather. The forecast is great, but you need to look across multiple states - at the radar - and make you own assessment of where the bad stuff is headed. Avoid those areas. You need to plan around them.

Literally, we've sat for 24 hours to wait out a line of storms...

If we were in an RV and we knew we were going to take some weather (bad weather), I'd likely try and find a car wash that could accommodate a near 12' vehicle and wait out the worst of it.

Beyond that, in Oklahoma I stayed at multiple parks that had on-sight tornado shelters.
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Old 05-28-2013, 07:49 PM   #20
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I travel with a weather radio that track the strongest noa station a smartphone tracking a live weaher map and a outside thermometer, if the temp starts to fall rapidly something is happening as a backup to the high tech gadgets.
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