We are looking at a lengthy 4 and a half day trip that will cover 2359 miles at a rate of 66.7 miles. The first 4 days will average about 533 miles of drive time because of that swift, I-40 rate. Let’s pack up the minivan, there is some driving to do.
The first day will consist of mostly non I-40 driving, but don’t worry, as we will return to it before too much longer. The southeastern US is entering a pattern in which the slightest of irregularities in the atmosphere could trigger showers and thunderstorms, and a trough, coupled with the Smokey Mountains will provide just enough of a trigger, though there won’t be a spillover across the range into our route. The best chance for rain or at the very least a good deal of clouds will be between the Tri-Cities and Knoxville, before we turn west. The day will end perhaps an hour and a half past Knoxville in Cookeville, halfway to Nashville. That’s a lot of ‘villes.
There is a weak little disturbance over the Florida Panhandle that will sap any convective energy before it arrives as far north as I-40. Driving between Nashville and Memphis will be no problem, aside from the heat, nor will the continued voyage through Little Rock, when temperatures may begin to alleviate, given a rising elevation. We will end the day in Ozark, Arkansas which, if you can believe it, is in the Ozarks. It’s more than halfway between Little Rock and Fort Smith.
There is a very slight chance that some thunderstorms may get touched off over the Texas Panhandle by the dry line late in the afternoon between Amarillo and the Oklahoma line. Other than that, it will be hot and humid in the car between Ozark and that point. We will make it just past Amarillo and the lonely outpost of Adrian, Texas before calling it a day. And boy is the Texas Panhandle lonely.
Weather, much like civilization, is pretty much going to cease as we head further west. The drive through New Mexico will be uneventful, save for a few brief moments of Albuquerque. The day will be dusty, how and quiet all the way until we collapse from exhaustion and boredom in Two Guns, Arizona. It’s between Winslow and Flagstaff and only a little less populated than Adrian.
Hey! We’re going to finish the drive today! More of the same, with the heat and humidity, but the dust is going to pick up thanks to some swirling winds around the thermal low that sets up on a daily basis across the region. After 4 and a half long hot days in the car, throw on the bathing suit and head to the Lake!