I was wondering if anyone had suggestions on how south I would have to travel to avoid snow and ice going from Seattle Washington to Bangor Maine during January. I know no one can predict the weather but has anyone done it or know anybody that has?
First of all, you need to know that Main usually has snow cover on the ground before the first of the year and it stays there until spring. There is no route to Bangor that is snow free for the month of Jan. And, even traveling I-5 south from Seattle you will have a high risk of snow on the roads, just to get south. There are at least two passes on I-5 that have a high risk of snow in January that you will have to travel over just to get south. We have traveled most of the major routes and the only east/west route that is sure to be snow free in Jan. is )-10. Even I-20 can get snow some winters and freezing rain many winters. Once you get east, you will once again have that same risk with many areas that there is a high degree of snow probability.
Having done a lot of winter travel, I think that the best way is to leave early enough to travel based upon the weather reports. Allow yourself time to stop for several days if the weather should get bad, and to do that more than one time as you travel east. Most winters it would be possible to go east on I-80 and to travel on dry roads as long as you are willing to wait for the road to improve each time you need to do so. To travel in that way, I would allow at least two weeks for the trip and three weeks would be better. I really think that you would have the best chance of travel on dry roads in that way, rather than to bo south and then back north. Such a route will mean that you travel more than twice as far and thus it would make it take nearly as long and far more fuel.