Mobile, Alabama to Billings, Montana

It’s hard to tell¬†exactly how long one of these¬†diagonal treks will take, but I can tell you that this particular adventure will last about 3 1/2 days. With all the various turns we have to make, it seems like we should have a slower pace, but we will still manage an average speed of 66.1mph. The first three days of our excursion will be through after 529 miles of travel, with a little bit of change for a half day on Sunday.

DAY ONE (Thursday)
It looks like we are clearing out from the Gulf Coast at exactly the right time! Tropical Storm Hermine is going to continue organize, and may actually become the first landfalling American hurricane in over a decade. There will be some spiral bands backing their way into Mobile tomorrow afternoon, but those are coming well after we leave tomorrow morning. The focused flow into the feature will in turn keep showers and storms out of the region we intend to drive through. The nearest to any precipitation we will get is as we pass by Jonesboro, as there will be a few showers and embedded storms filtering into central Arkansas, but we will make it all the way to the Missouri border and the town of Mammoth Springs before we cease our travels for the day.

DAY TWO (Friday)
High pressure! We’re going to be free and easy driving from Mammoth Springs on through Kansas City and Omaha. KC can be a bit of a haggle with traffic, but the Omaha area is a lot more agreeable. We will make it to Little Sioux, which is about half an hour north of Council Bluffs on the Iowa side of the Missouri.

DAY THREE (Saturday)
An area of low pressure moving into the northern Canadian Prairies is being fostered by a strong upper level trough. The jet is crossing the northern Rockies, and will lead to an active lee trough, sliding into the Dakotas. Late in the afternoon and evening, there may be some thunderstorms that pop up through central part of the state. Most of th activity will come late in the day, though, and I like our chances of reaching Belle Fourche, north of Rapid City, before the thunderstorms become a navigational issue.

DAY FOUR (Sunday)
That lee trough will shift further to the east and begin to organize into a legitimate area of low pressure, centered over Goodland, Kansas. Showers and storms will wrap around this circulation, with stratiform showers and storms becoming a fact of life for our little section of highway between Belle Fourche and Billings. Clearing will come soon thereafter.