Oregon State to Iowa State! It’s going to take 3 1/2 days to cover 1910 miles. Through the mountains and some wintry weather, we will still average 67.9mph, which is pretty darn speedy. That’s a daily log of 543.5 miles. Let’s cover the ground between these two college towns.
There is a weak system rotating into the Pacific Northwest, and is taking with it a good deal of cold air. There will probably be rain in Corvallis and north to Portland, but when we take an easterly turn we will see a rise in elevation and a change to snow not far from I-5. Owing to the geography of the region, it won’t be constantly snowing as we head east, but our best chances will be as we start to head uphill at the various ridge lines in the area. The chance for snow will pick up as we hit the Sun Valley in Idaho, so our stop for the night in Mountain Home will be well timed.
The snow won’t really let up on Sunday either. The flurry activity will be persistent over southern Idaho, but a big band of snow will set up over northern Utah and far southern Idaho. A band will develop and fall as we make a southerly turn at the I-86 split, which will lead to some whiteout conditions and even a rogue stroke of lightning. Light rain is possible in the Great Salt Lake Basin, but in the Wasatch, we may again see some flurries. The snow will build north and not east in our last couple of hours of driving, so it will be cloudy, windy but also dry when we stop for the night in Hadsell, Wyoming, a few miles from Rawlins.
The low is moving through the Rockies and will deepen on the lee side of the the Rockies, with some warm air pumping north into the Dakotas. Before that, however, we will have to contend with some snow and wind in the Wyoming Rockies. It will end around Cheyenne, and the drive through Nebraska will be ominous looking, but dry. The day ends in Bradshaw, Nebraska, just ahead of York.
Our area of low pressure is going to do an excellent job of pumping moisture north. The drizzle will pick up throughout Iowa as we begin the day and with it, some low clouds and fog might make things challenging. We will get into Ames before anything gets really nasty, thanks to the short day, but bear in mind, it does look like Ames will be, in fact, really nasty at some point early next week.