We’re off for a fun little road trip today. The drive from Utah to Kentucky takes the familiar route along I-80 through most of Nebraska, but then swings us further south, toward I-70 for the second half of the trip. We’re going to forecast for the whole dang thing, one way or another. It’s a 3 day trek, covering 1650 miles. This means that the daily goal will be 550 miles, right on the nose. I think we can do it.
DAY ONE (Friday)
The beginning of July is one of the best times of year to drive through the mountains. You won’t have to worry about snow, for one thing, but also, wherever trees grow, they will be at their greenest of the year, before the daily sunshine scorches any available sun. There are some smoky forest fires in Colorado, which may provide a haze to the drive, however high pressure over the Plains is receding from the Rockies, and the air will begin moving and the haze might dissipate. The additional bonus of ridge pulling away will limit the convergence at the surface, and thunderstorms will likely be non existent from Ogden to Lodgepole, in the Nebraska Panhandle.
DAY TWO (Saturday)
While high pressure is moving away from the Rockies, it isn’t moving much further than that, remaining in the Plains and Mississippi Valley. This means the rest of the drive through Nebraska, and we’ll be able to sneak south towards Kansas City in comfortable weather for this time of year. We’ll make it to Odessa, Missouri, east of KC, for our daily stop.
DAY THREE (Sunday)
As the high pressure begins to break down later in the weekend, Gulf moisture will begin to filter north through Mississippi towards the tail end of our route. We’ll make it to St. Louis with no problems, and there won’t REALLY be a problem for the rest of the route, just a few isolated spits of rain through southern Illinois and into western Kentucky. If any really heavy rain falls, it would likely be right as we cross the Mississippi River, but we will probably slip past there before that is a real threat. Lexington will be returning to hot, sticky conditions as we arrive in town.