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Aug 1, 2015
We are having a major Northeast storm here in the Boston area today, and I had occasion to drive about 30 miles in the heavy rain and wind. Air temperature was about 40F, winds are in the 25-35 mph range, rain is intermittently quite heavy. I have had my Model S 2-1/2 years, so I have driven in heavy rain before, but today I paid special attention, just to see how the car handled it.

Most of the trip was on US highway 1, a divided highway but not limited access, or on I-95. Plus a few miles on local roads.

I set the wipers on automatic, and they worked just fine, no complaints. My blades were new in January, so I imagine that helped.

Climate control was set to Auto and kept the car warm and kept the windows fairly free of moisture. I say "fairly free" because the driver's side window was a bit fogged up for the first few minutes of driving. I wiped it off with a cloth once, and it stayed clear after that. My son joined me for about 45 minutes, but even having a second person's breathing and wet clothes added to the moisture load did not cause any problems.

I used AP1 most of the highway and freeway portions of the trip. it worked surprisingly well. There were a couple of areas where it would not function, but again i cannot complain, given the conditions.

The high winds did not seem to disturb the car, in the sense that it was stable on the road. I did not feel it being shoved by the wind as other cars might have been. i suppose the combination of the weight and aerodynamic shape helped.

There was, however, a lot of wind noise, as you would expect. Plus there was probably more tire noise because of the rain, although it was the wind that dominated. I could still enjoy the streaming music, though.

Energy use was high, about 400 Wh/mile for the round trip. The cool temperatures (40F or so) accounted for some of that, but rain and wind are also costly for energy efficiency.

My one small compliant is that the rear window visibility was poor. Normally in a light rain, using the rear window defroster will help keep the glass clear enough. But today's rain was too heavy so the defroster had little apparent effect. I hate to say it because i know it is an unpopular notion, but I do wish the rear window had a wiper for conditions like this.

Bottom line, it all worked just fine. The conditions were challenging but well within what any car should be able to cope with, and the Model S did well, with no fuss.

So, no news, just a positive report. Sometimes I feel like too much of what we read here are complaints, and I wanted to report that the car did well in a "nor'easter."
Thanks for posting this - the Model S really does well in high winds relative to other cars that I have owned.

Here in NY our power is still out - my Model S is sitting in the driveway next to my disgusting generator belching away to keep our house warm and food cool... I guess at some point we’ll take the next step of home energy storage so we can really stop w/ the fossil fuel use!
Ah, yes, power outage. After I wrote the positive post above, our power went out, too. It was out about 12 hours. In the meantime, I got home with 12% on the battery. The power did not come back overnight, so the car did not charge, and i had to use my wife's ICE car to attend a funeral. Oh, the shame! That is the only time in 2-1/2 years that I have had to use an ICE car because I had no juice. (If I had thought of it earlier, i could have gone to a supercharger, but as it was i ran out of time.)

On one other note, driving in the rain at night was not quite as successful as in the daytime. neither AP1 nor the rain sensing wipers performed quite as well. Different roads so not a direct comparison, though. But I know that even on my previous car, a Mercedes, the rain-sensing wipers did not do as well at night.