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Old 08-29-10, 11:54 AM   #1
Geo Cruise
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best time of year to be ridng through the deep south?

What is the best time of year to be cycling through Alabama, Tennessee? Is there a riany period? when is the temperature most desirable?
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Old 08-29-10, 12:09 PM   #2
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The weather channel's website gives historical daily averages. This is for my hometown of Austin, but you can put in different locations at the top.

I would probably shoot for sometime in the fall when the temps and humidity drop. In many places, the spring is often less predictable and sometimes more windy.
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Old 08-29-10, 12:34 PM   #3
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The weather channel's website gives historical daily averages. This is for my hometown of Austin, but you can put in different locations at the top.

I would probably shoot for sometime in the fall when the temps and humidity drop. In many places, the spring is often less predictable and sometimes more windy.
I am going to be riding north to Canada so Fall would be a tough time to start, I would arrive just as the now is starting to fall, is it wet in Alabama in the late Spring or just stifling hot? I am a Canadian so stifling hot days are anything over 85 degrees.
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Old 08-29-10, 12:39 PM   #4
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We had something like 80 consecutive days above 90 in Tennessee. A trip through the south, the real deep south, could theoretically take place any time. You may find pleasant weather south of a line through say Columbia, SC anytime in the fall or winter, or you may freeze. See my moniker, I know. LOL Spring snows are notorious in the south as are the winds, rain, and thunderstorms.
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Old 08-29-10, 12:49 PM   #5
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I'll be heading due north from Mobile Bay through Alabama and Tennessee heading to Canada, I am just wondering if I should get a step ahead and start in the spring by the time i get up north here it would be warmed up or it I should put it off a bit later, tackle the heat and hit Canada later in the summer long before the temp starts dipping too low.
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Old 08-29-10, 12:52 PM   #6
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Your best shot would be to start sometime around the middle of May.
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Old 08-29-10, 12:57 PM   #7
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Your best shot would be to start sometime around the middle of May.
That would sound the best as far as arriving in Canada for the best weather, I wasn't sure if May would be too hot in Alabama, I have never been south later than march before so I don't know what it is like that time of year.
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Old 08-29-10, 04:00 PM   #8
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The weather channel's website gives historical daily averages. This is for my hometown of Austin, but you can put in different locations at the top.

I would probably shoot for sometime in the fall when the temps and humidity drop. In many places, the spring is often less predictable and sometimes more windy.
I agree. I'm from GA originally, and between Haloween and Thanksgiving is about the best time of year. July and August can be horrible, and contrary to popular belief, it can get really cold in the winter.
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Old 08-29-10, 05:19 PM   #9
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Leave the south in late March...

FWIW I have lived in NC for 38 years and have been working all over the deep south for the past 20. October and November usually are the best parts of the year, spring can be pretty unpredictable.

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Old 08-29-10, 05:38 PM   #10
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I'd use a sliding scale - what's the earliest/latest date you want to arrive in Canada weatherwise? Then calculate the number of days you expect to be on the road and work backwards from there to find the start date.

For a Fall start from Mobile, AL, you might see some >85F days as late as late-Sep/early Oct - at least we expect such in New Orleans. Then again, the F/humidity combo might just make it FEEL like 85F. However, for most of us, the weather is rideable in the southern half of Alabama through Dec 31 though it might hit the 30's during the night for at most a random day or two. Parts of Tennessee can see low's in the 30's from December-Feb/early March for a couple weeks at a time. The further north, the sooner it gets cold and the shorter the days become the later in the year it gets, obviously. So, you'd see more cold, short days of riding and less ground covered per day meaning a longer total tour time-wise the later you leave. So, I'd say a Fall start out of Mobile would be imprudent after late-October/early-November.

Otoh, I don't remember not riding my bike year round in southern Louisiana as a kid - equivalent weather to Mobile for the most part. So, for a Spring departure, again take Tennessee as the southernmost cold point and figure the earliest date you find expct to find 30 degree lows. Work from there based on how long you expect to take to get from Mobile->Tennessee. Off the top of my head, I'd say leaving Mobile in early/mid-March is possible for the route as far as Tennessee. North of that it's a question of cold snaps/Arctic lows coming down from Canada. When is southern/northern Illinois rideable? Michigan? Canada?

If you're looking for sub-85F temps in Alabama, then you might be limiting Spring departures to dates prior to mid-May if Summer comes early like it did this year.

Rain? It's going to happen during the Spring, I guarantee it. Check the precip tables @weather underground for Mobile and Birmingham for historical data. It's pretty much dependent on Canadian air masses/Arctic fronts transitioning to pressure systems coming across the Rockies to middle America as the controlling factor. If they stall out, rain in 'Bama can last a week - been trapped in it myself.

That's off the top of my head based on a lifetime in the Southeastern US without actually looking up the data on the 'Net, but it's probably going to be in the ballpark time-period-wise for you.
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Old 08-29-10, 06:50 PM   #11
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Your best shot would be to start sometime around the middle of May.
Considering the northerly route, that's what immediately came to my mind. It's not bullet proof, but going south pretty much requires a springtime start and all the uncertainty that comes with it. Should be a beautiful trip, especially if the rider can kind of catch the wave of warmer weather going north.
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Old 08-29-10, 07:03 PM   #12
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I rode from South from MO through ILL, KY, TN, MS, AL, and into GA in the first of June. Man-o-man was it hot and humid! Temps were in the upper 90s with humidity readings in the low 80%. The heat usually doesn't bother me but the humidity was hard to ride in. I'm with Wahoonc on this one. Late March.

Watch out for thunder/lightning storms that time of year. I got caught in one in AL with lightning striking all around me. That was a rough 2 hours.

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