Classic road trips need to head through South Dakota. That’s just the rule. This three day trip will do just that, so you know it’s a good one. We’re going to cover 3 days, with the third day lasting a little bit longer than the first two. Our drive will be 1,778 miles, done at a pace of 68.4mph, so our first two days will allow us coverage of 547 miles. The Rockies can be sketchy this time of year, but perhaps the rest of the drive will be a bit more manageable.
DAY ONE (Monday)
My fears of sketchiness in the higher terrain of the intermountain West will be confirmed on Monday. A sharp trough angled from the Canadian Prairies towards the Mojave will slice right across the Great Basin. The angle won’t allow the absorption of much moisture into the feature, and high pressure will prevent it from moving terribly quickly. Instead, expect gusty winds with some light flurries, particularly around the Elko area in northeastern Nevada. Accumulations won’t stack up, but in this part of the world, the breeze will make it difficult to see. There is a chance that the flurry activity will continue into the Bonneville Flats which provides an interesting conundrum. How can you tell if the snow is accumulating. or if it’s just the salt? We’ll make it to a slightly snowy Salt Lake City to call it a day.
DAY TWO (Tuesday)
Our trough will attempt to bring moisture in from the chilly eastern Pacific over the Wasatch, and it will largely be unsuccessful. There might be a few snow showers at the beginning of our day as we travel through the far northern end of the Wasatch range in northeastern Utah, but after that, the day will be pretty easy. Wyoming is going to stay clear of the snowy conditions, and we will end the day in the least populous county in the least populous state, north of Lusk at the Mule Creek junction in Niobara County.
DAY THREE (Wednesday)
Chilly upper level troughing is going to recede from the Upper Midwest on Wednesday, just in time for us to arrive. The sun will be out in full force, which is going to be great, because it will make a long day tolerable. IF the day wasn’t already 10 hours long, I would say stop at Mount Rushmore, but instead, I will just say get to Minneapolis, where you will actually get to experience a comfortable day.