Lima, Ohio to Great Falls, Montana

Today we embark on a lengthy 3-day trip, which covers 1,681 miles from Ohio to Montana. Got a long weekend drive ahead of us, so we don’t have a minute to waste!

DAY ONE

A system is pushing its’ way out of the Eastern Great Lakes, with the backend of the system still kicking up a few showers over Western OH. The windshield will be wet as we head northwest towards Ft. Wayne, but with high pressure moving into the Midwest, some sun should peek out during the day. As we push through Chicago midday, we should have partly cloudy skies and overall pleasant conditions. We head up along I-90 towards Rockford then north into Wisconsin, following I-90 past Madison and the Wisconsin Dells before finishing the day in La Crosse.

DAY TWO

Today is going to be a long day, but it’s all westward on I-90! An area of low pressure is swinging through the Northern Plains during the night last night and we could see some light snow on our car as we head out in the morning. A rain/snow mix is expected as we start the day, which then changes over to some light snow, but only briefly. We shouldn’t have many road issues since it was rain as it moved through the rest of Southern MN overnight. A slightly faster route would have been to head up I-94 into ND, but with this storm expected to bring 6-12″ right along I-94 throughout ND, I-90 is the much safer play. Clouds will dissipate throughout the day as the cold front pushes off to the east and our main weather issue of the day will be gusty northwest winds coming in behind the front. That’ll probably sap our gas mileage, but otherwise, a fairly uneventful day as we cruise on by Sioux Falls and all the west westward to Rapid City, where we end the day. Thankfully the speed limit is 80 in SD!

DAY THREE

A bit of energy kicking up snow is found over Nebraska as we start our final day of the trip, but some snow showers could sneak into Rapid City as we start the day. This activity will continue pushing towards the south, which means its impact on us will be minimal as the main axis of high pressure is found over Eastern Montana into the Central Dakotas. Even though the morning and midday hours should be okay, an area of low pressure is pushing through the Pacific Northwest today, and looks like it’ll start producing snow in the lee of the Rockies once we get to the late afternoon hours. We should be okay to make it northwestward to Hwy 87 then continue westward, but the last 50-100 miles could be a bit of slow-going as the snow showers get going as we make our way into Great Falls.