Doctor Bagel

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okay, i'm flying into chicago tomorrow and was planning on renting a car and driving to des moines. however, i noticed that it's supposed to snow tomorrow and am wondering how much i should be worried about this. it looks like the accumulation is going to be light, and i'm going to be on the interstate the whole way. should i ditch my trip? i've never lived anywhere where it snowed regularly, so this driving in snow thing is very weird to me.

any tips?
 

djnels01

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I've lived in Minnesota practically my whole life, and light snow is nothing to worry about, especially on the interstate. Those are the roads that are kept clear and sanded/salted more frequently than any others in the midwest. Also, high traffic on the interstate usually cuts down considerably on accumulation.

I.E. You'll be fine, just don't drive 80 and you'll make it to Des Moines no problem... it'll be worth the trip when you get to DMU.
 

Doctor Bagel

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djnels01 said:
I've lived in Minnesota practically my whole life, and light snow is nothing to worry about, especially on the interstate. Those are the roads that are kept clear and sanded/salted more frequently than any others in the midwest. Also, high traffic on the interstate usually cuts down considerably on accumulation.

I.E. You'll be fine, just don't drive 80 and you'll make it to Des Moines no problem... it'll be worth the trip when you get to DMU.
cool, that's what i was hoping. i live in a city where everything shuts down when it snows. from the latest forecast, it looks like snow showers with an accumulation of 1 to 2 inches, so that shouldn't be too bad, i guess. thanks for the midwest info!
 
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Mad Cow

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further your following distance until you get a 'feel' for the road. the cars around you will also be a good gauge of the road conditions. let them screw up first. don't slam on the brakes if there's any moisture on the ground, it could be ice. it doesn't sound likely given the conditions.
go to weather.com and look at the driving forecasts for the interstates. it's a pretty good gauge for road quality and city forecasts along the way. just in case, pack a heavy sweater, and maybe an extra pair of woolies. i hope i'm not freaking you out, i'm more of a prepare for the worst, hope for the best types.
good luck
:mad: :horns:
 

Doctor Bagel

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so woolies are long underwear? :confused: i've got another stupid question -- what's the difference between "snow" and "snow showers". on weather.com, they say that davenport will have snow in the morning turning into snow showers in the afternoon. i'm driving in the afternoon, so is that a good thing that it's turning to snow showers or a bad thing? the midwest is scary. :eek:
 

Krazykritter

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I have lived in Iowa my entire life and all you have to do is be a defensive driver and image that the other drivers on the road are going to do the stupidest possible thing that they could.

You will have absolutely no problem on the Interstate, but when you get into Des Moines, be careful. I-235 that goes through the city is not only under construction, but is notorious for being much worse than the other roads (I-80 is the one you will be one). Just increase your following distance.

As for snow showers...who the heck knows? Weather people have all kinds of goofy sayings in the midwest b/c of our crazy (at times) weather.
 

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I'm pretty sure "snow showers" means it's snowing lightly on and off. "Snow" mean that the snow keeps coming down. "Snow" to "snow showers" would be a good thing.
 

Doctor Bagel

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misparas said:
I'm pretty sure "snow showers" means it's snowing lightly on and off. "Snow" mean that the snow keeps coming down. "Snow" to "snow showers" would be a good thing.
good news. from what it looks like, the bulk of the accumulation is going to be in the morning, so maybe i'll be okay in the afternoon. if i live in des moines, i'll have to deal with it anyway, right.
 

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I figured I better post before madcow starts to corner the market on winter driving. I'm from North Dakota, so moving to Iowa seemed like moving to the south for me. I remember way back in the day (high school) when we would go driving after a big storm and see what kind of snow banks we could drive through. I had an old chevy cavalier, so needless to say, i got stuck the most.

Anyways, like some others above said, its not that big of deal to drive in "iowa" weather, especially on main roads. be smart about it...defensive driving, the distance thing, and a good ice scraper for the windshield. i guess i am not sure about the temp for the next few days, but right now it is snowing, but it is pretty cold. When it is cold with snow showers, the snow kinda gets brushed away. But when the temp is hovering around 30-35 degrees, the snow will get sticky, then get compacted. Again, though, this usually isn't a big problem on interstates. I haven't really seen it yet here, but in ND the wind was the problem. If it gets windy enough (always in ND), the visibility drops pretty quick.
 

Doctor Bagel

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rjfreed said:
I figured I better post before madcow starts to corner the market on winter driving. I'm from North Dakota, so moving to Iowa seemed like moving to the south for me. I remember way back in the day (high school) when we would go driving after a big storm and see what kind of snow banks we could drive through. I had an old chevy cavalier, so needless to say, i got stuck the most.

Anyways, like some others above said, its not that big of deal to drive in "iowa" weather, especially on main roads. be smart about it...defensive driving, the distance thing, and a good ice scraper for the windshield. i guess i am not sure about the temp for the next few days, but right now it is snowing, but it is pretty cold. When it is cold with snow showers, the snow kinda gets brushed away. But when the temp is hovering around 30-35 degrees, the snow will get sticky, then get compacted. Again, though, this usually isn't a big problem on interstates. I haven't really seen it yet here, but in ND the wind was the problem. If it gets windy enough (always in ND), the visibility drops pretty quick.
i take it you grew up in a very small town. :) i did, too, but we didn't have snow. instead we went to wal-mart.

you know, the ice scraper presents a problem because i don't know if my rental will come with one. i guess i should be able to get one at a gas station, though, or i could try to find the one in my car and take it with me. i park in a garage and lived in texas before that, so umm it hasn't been used in about six years.

it doesn't look like it's going to be windy, so that's good. it'll be an adventure!
 

somnolent

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exlawgrrl said:
i take it you grew up in a very small town. :) i did, too, but we didn't have snow. instead we went to wal-mart.
yes, i did grow up in a very small town. no walmart. the town pretty much closed up at 6 pm. if you wanted some snacks after a night of snow plowing and drinking "cola", you needed to drive 15 miles to another town where they had a 24 hour gas station. fancy.

about your ice scraper, it might be nice to have one just in case. sometimes, the windows frost thicker than you would imagine. i bet the car rental place in chicago would have one, though. i rented a car this past summer in ND, and i noticed one in the trunk. so i don't know if thats everyone, or just in the flickertail state. (ND is not as bad as i make it sound. i actually prefer it to many other places in this country)
 

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bad news ex law girl. It is nasty here in des moines right now! very icy and somewhat dangerous. half of the people i work with are calling in. probably not the best news and probably too late, but for what its worth. slow down and you'll be ok.
 

Doctor Bagel

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FrkyBgStok said:
bad news ex law girl. It is nasty here in des moines right now! very icy and somewhat dangerous. half of the people i work with are calling in. probably not the best news and probably too late, but for what its worth. slow down and you'll be ok.
yeah, i didn't make it all the way. i managed to get to just outside davenport and decided to spend the night there. i did get to drive in the next day, though, and tour the school. goodness, that was a hellish exerience getting from chicago to iowa on thursday!
 

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exlawgrrl said:
yeah, i didn't make it all the way. i managed to get to just outside davenport and decided to spend the night there. i did get to drive in the next day, though, and tour the school. goodness, that was a hellish exerience getting from chicago to iowa on thursday!
So how did you like the tour? Was it everything you had imagined?
 
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