Tom keeps a very close eye on the weather. He has several weather apps he looks at multiple times a day. His favorites are Weather Underground and The Weather Channel. We can live in the RV in most kinds of weather, but when we are traveling it is important to keep updated. For instance, if there are high wind warnings on a particular day, we try to avoid driving. If there is a hurricane or tornado forecast, we can drive out of the way. If a snowstorm is coming we can choose to hunker down through it or leave town before it hits. In this way we manage to stay one step ahead of the weather.
Our recent drive across the country had many instances of staying one step ahead of the weather. Severe storms were forecast for western Washington, so we left the day before the storms hit. Camped in eastern Washington, we listened to news reports of flooding in the area we recently vacated. In Idaho high winds were forecast coming from the west, so we left a day before we planned. We drove the north / south route from Twin Falls to Ogden Utah before the winds hit and were safely headed east with a nice tailwind on I-80 when the winds started.
We meandered through Nebraska and Iowa. One day we stopped at noon because we were catching up with a severe storm heading east just ahead. We enjoyed a short driving day and a little break. But, while stopped, Tom spotted another big storm coming from the west. The next day we got an early start and pushed on all the way to our campsite in Ohio. That night a snow and ice storm blew in but we were tucked in for the next couple of months.
Weather forecasting is much more accurate than it used to be. Forecasts up to a week ahead are now usually spot on. We do get a little tired of the hype, however. It seems that the weather forecasters are always playing up the worst case scenario. I think they do this to get better ratings. But they also want us to be prepared for the worst. We have some friends that left Moore’s Creek in North Carolina a couple of days before Hurricane Matthew hit. When the damage from that wasn’t as severe as expected, they planned to return. Just before getting ready to leave the flooding started and they weren’t able to go back. Everyone was thankful they were able to leave with the forecast.
December in Ohio was another good example of staying one step ahead of the weather. The week after Christmas bitterly cold temperatures hit the state. We woke up several mornings to see below zero readings on the thermometer. While we are parked, cold temperatures are not a problem for our RV. But we cannot keep the furnace on when we are driving and we can’t let the pipes and tanks in the RV get below freezing. We planned on leaving Ohio on January 1.
Tom kept his eye on the forecast and noticed that another blast of even colder temperatures was coming. One day, Friday December 29, had “warmer” temperatures – all the way up to 21! We decided to get out of town on this warmer day to stay one step ahead of the colder air coming. We had to stop once in southern Ohio to heat up the “basement” of the RV, but after that we were above freezing the rest of our journey. Although it was very cold in southern Georgia, it was balmy compared to the temperatures in Ohio during the first week of January.
I appreciate the care Tom takes with watching the weather. Sometimes we have to change our plans quickly but it is worth it to stay one step ahead of bad weather.