Buffalo, New York to Yakima, Washington

It’s been a while since I drew a cross country road trip, but here we are. It will take 4 1/2 days to get from Buffalo to Yakima at a pace of 65.9mph. Those first 4 days will be through after about 527.1 miles a day. Can we manage all this? I think we can.

No matter where you live in the country, save for the southwest, you know about the system that will cause us problems on day one. It brought rain and snow to the northwest, severe weather to the southeast, snow to the Midwest and torrential rain to the northeast. As we leave Buffalo on Saturday morning, the remaining influence of this system will be an inverted trough stretching from Maine to the Dakotas. The rotation through the Great Lakes will bring about the possibility of a few broken ceilings and some isolated snow showers, but considering the tumult this storm has wrought, I think we should count our blessings. We will end the day in Chicago, right off the Dan Ryan in the center of town.

The next system moving through the country will move into the Northern Plains as we sleep Wednesday night, and essentially , we will be following the warm front until we get to Tomah Wisconsin. I hope that it will be warm enough the whole day, and we deal only with rain through the period. There is an above average chance that we see some mixed or even freezing precipitation through southern Wisconsin. Moving through southeastern Minnesota, there is a good chance that there will be enough energy with the system that we hear a rumble of thunder or even a report of a cold air funnel. That won’t last long, though. Not far west of Rochester, the cold front will have passed us by and we will see another round of cold northwest wind infiltrating Minnesota. Chilly with another wintry mix by the time we reach Adrian, Minnesota, in the southwestern corner of that state. No freezing rain, just a rain/snow mix, though, so it’s a marginal improvement.

South Dakota is in the dry slot! The dry slot, for those that don’t know, involves a well wound system pulling in a plume of dry air that wedges between an inverted trough and a cold front. In this case, Monday it will lie over South Dakota in a west-east fashion, which is fairly unusual. We’ll take it! We will make it to the southeastern corner of Montana and the town of Alzada just as the spectre of a flurry fill night fills the Prairie sky. Ooh, poetic.

We are In for a cloudy day across Montana. An inverted trough will lie draped over he state. It will be light precipitation and it will be fairly intermittent and unobtrusive, but still, come on. It’s April. We will get to Drummond, Montana, within the Rockies, with fairly little delay to end our day on Tuesday.

Wednesday looks good in the northern Rockies! Our drive through the remainder of Montana, northern Idaho and Washington will be mercifully uneventful. About time.