Binghamton, New York to Tucson, Arizona

Check it out guys, we’re back on the road, ready for a 4 1/2 day trek, covering 2429 miles at an average pace of 65mph. The first 4 days through the middle of the country will be through after 520 miles, leaving a little bit of change at the end of the trip on Sunday. It’s a long trip, so let’s get moving!

DAY ONE (Wednesday)
An area of low pressure if going to make for a rainy day today in the Mid Atlantic and eastern Great Lakes, but the complex is getting fairly organized, and because of this, the mass will be pulled northeast into eastern Canada. Cold air will be driven into our route area, and certainly in the morning, we will have some dry air and sunny skies from Binghamton to Buffalo. Inverted troughing is going to develop with this low, just like it was a winter or early spring system, but with this system, we can only expect some light and clouds. Unfortunately, these sprinkles will be a possibility all the way from Dunkirk, New York through Erie and Cleveland and on to Polaris, a small town in the northern part of the Columbus metropolitan area.

DAY TWO (Thursday)
There is a little bit of a difference in model guidance for Thursday, but it could have a significant impact on our drive Thursday. The drive through Illinois and Indiana, as well as western Ohio, will be pleasant and mostly sunny, with temperatures climbing back to something a little bit more seasonable. What is clear for the tail end of the day, though, is that there will be a wave moving out of the southern Plains and will be bringing showers and thunderstorms… somewhere. The NAM model is the most ominous for us, as it has strong afternoon thunderstorms throughout Missouri, but the GFS takes the complex further south, towards Arkansas and north Texas. The NAM starts to lose its mind a bit as you get further into the future, so the SPC and other important resources anticipate the GFS ending up closer to the truth. This means severe weather in Tulsa and Fort Smith on Thursday, but smooth sailing (they don’t even have ANY storms in the St. Louis area) in eastern Missouri. I will say that there is definitely still a chance for some rain or thunder from St. Louis to Rolla, but the NAM is out to lunch. Our day will end in Rolla. I can say that with a little bit more confidence than I can about where the storms will develop.

DAY THREE (Friday)
Our area of low pressure kicking up the strong thunderstorms will be south of our route on Friday regardless of what model you want to believe. There is also a pretty decent chance, however, that we will be driving through the back end of the system, where there could be a little bit of low level moisture and shower activity. The wave will deteriorate upon moving further away from the southern Rockies, and will merge with Gulf breeze effects, which means the whole area of showers and storms will stall in Louisiana and the northern Gulf. Some moisture will wrap around the low and linger in the middle layers from Missouri to Oklahoma for the entire day, which leads the GFS to leave a swath of light green throughout our route. I do find it hard to believe that there will be much rain through Oklahoma where the summer is typically quite dry, so even though there is available moisture in the lower and middle layers, I will officially say that it will be in the form of clouds, with rain chances drying up after we pass through Springfield, Missouri. Expect mostly cloudy conditions through Oklahoma to Elk City in the far western part of the state.

DAY FOUR (Saturday)
The easy part of the drive on Saturday is that we should be out of the thunderstorms and will be able to contend with a dry weather day. The tough part will be finding a place to stay in southern New Mexico as the day ends. We will try to get to SAn Marcial lake, but there isn’t much going on south of Socorro.

DAY FIVE (Sunday)
Forecasting gets tougher the further into the future you look, but I think the Sunday forecast between San Marcial, New Mexico and Tucson Arizona is easier than any other part of the forecast. Hot, dry and sunny. Take it to the bank.