Ocean City, New Jersey to Merced, California

We’re rolling cross country tonight, with a long road trip, lasting 5 1/2 days and stretching from one coast almost all the way to the other coast. The mileage will be 2964 miles,, which we will cover at a pace of 539 miles per day, or a little bit more that 67mph. This is going to be a long drive, but at least we will maintain a good pace. Head west, young meteorologist!

DAY ONE (Tuesday)

A weak area of low pressure is spiraling out of the Plains towards the mid-Atlantic. There has been a good deal of severe weather tonight associated with the cold front moving through the Tennessee Valley, but fortunately, as we leave the Ocean City beaches, we won’t have any severe weather with which to occupy our minds with. In fact, through the Philadelphia area, we won’t have any inclement weather disrupting travel. When we do encounter the system, it will be in the hills of Pennsylvania, and it will be in the stratiform rain portion of the system. No thunderstorms for us, but rather a few scattered showers between Harrisburg and Bedford. We should be out of the rain by the time he hit Pittsburgh, and the sun will be shining for the portion of our day spent in Ohio. We’ll stop in Bloomingville, just south of Sandusky, Ohio.

DAY TWO (Wednesday)
We will be between systems on Wedensday as we continue our westward progression towards the Golden State. Ohio, Indiana and Illinois will not present us with any weather worries, though here will be an increase in clouds as we reach western Illinois. The next system will be waiting in the Plains, but like our encounter in Pennsylvania, we will be too far north to worry about thunderstorms, rather seeing some scattered showers in eastern Iowa before pulling in for the night Williamsburg, between Iowa City and Des Moines.

DAY THREE (Thursday)
We are at the point where we are starting to see some divergence in the models. The NAM will keep rain in our route, some of it could include thunder and a brief downpour, all the way west to Grand Island, Nebraska. The GFS, on the other hand, thinks we will be done with rain by the time we reach Des Moines. I happen to think there will be a more abrupt cutoff, but I will officially say that rain will linger all the way to Omaha. That will give us the rest of Nebraska to enjoy in all of its sunlit splendor. We will finish the day in western Nebraska, in Roscoe.

DAY FOUR (Friday)
Another day, another system. This will bring about the added obstacle of snow showers as we hit the higher terrain in central Wyoming. It should be dry, but with increasing clouds until we hit Elk Mountain, but then we will start to see the mountain flurries and lower terrain rain showers. The good news is, we are late enough in the season that the snow levels will be pretty high up. The bad news is, when we hit them, it will be coming down like the dickens. We’ll cross into Utah before the day concludes, but only just. The day will end in Wahsatch, the first exit in the Beehive State.

DAY FIVE (Saturday)
The highlight of our Saturday will be passing through Salt Lake City, because we won’t really see much else on our drive. The sun will be out, and a dusty Great Basin day will unfold before us. We wiill make it to the Fallon area in Nevada, east of Reno before we call it a night. We could probably make it to Reno, because we can almost certainly drive a heck of a lot faster through Nevada than we said in the intro to this piece.

DAY SIX (Sunday)
Our Sunday will be just as weather-averse as our Saturday, but at least we will see Reno, Sacramento, Lake Tahoe and other things that end with the same sound. Merced will be comfortable, sunny and warm.