Santa Barbara, California to Lancaster, Pennsylvania

We embark on a week-long, 2,738 mile, cross-country road trip, right as weather gets busy in the Southwest. Juuuust peachy.

DAY ONE

We get an early start on the day as we’re playing a race of sorts on Monday. Tropical Storm Rosa is heading towards Baja California and looks to impact the Desert Southwest over the next couple of days. Rain streaming ahead of the storm is already impacting Arizona. Quiet weather is expected for our departure out of Santa Barbara towards Los Angeles, and continues as we head north on I-15 into the Mojave Desert. We head eastward on I-40 and will be following this interstate for quite a while and we’ll start to see some scattered shower activity in the afternoon as we cross over into Arizona. As the evening progresses, we’ll see an increase in shower activity and perhaps some embedded thunderstorms as we make our way to Flagstaff, our stop after the long day.

DAY TWO

The remnants of Rosa are shifting into Arizona this morning, so our start out of Flagstaff will be off to a slow start. On the plus side, the lions share of the heavy rains are getting caught up in the mountains to the south. However, it will still be a messy start to the day as we head out of Flagstaff towards Gallup, NM. The further east we go, the more the weather improves as the rain mostly heads northward into Utah. By the time we reach Albuquerque, the rain should have come to an end. The rest of the afternoon and evening should be fairly quiet as we end the day in Tucumcari, NM.

DAY THREE

Today should be a fairly easy day overall! Low pressure intensifying over the Northern Plains will cause much angst to those from Montana to Minnesota, but with a nose of high pressure extending into the Southern Plains, it should be enough to keep the rain chances away. We could probably see some increased southerly winds during the afternoon as southerly flow feeds the low pressure off north. We cruise on by Oklahoma City in the afternoon and settle in Tulsa for the night.

DAY FOUR

As low pressure continues to explosively develop and shifts into Canada, the cold front trailing this system is dropping into the Mid-MS River Valley and Central Plains. We still expect dry weather as we head out of Tulsa northeastward on I-44, but as we head past Springfield, MO and head further into Missouri, we’ll get closer to encountering showers and perhaps a few thunderstorms along the front. It looks like the activity will hold off to the north of our route long enough to make it to St. Louis, but the threat will remain for the rest of the evening as we head into Effingham, IL for the night.

DAY FIVE

Today will be an abbreviated day of sorts, as we’re only traveling 350 miles to Columbus, OH. But as a new area of low pressure begins to intensity over the Midwest, scattered shower activity looks to develop over the OH Valley throughout the morning. Heavier activity will remain off to the north of our route, but don’t be surprised if we see a stray thunderstorm over OH before we read our destination for the day.

DAY SIX

A cold front will be hot on our heels today as we continue eastward on I-70 then get onto I-76, which will take us the rest of the way. We could see some morning shower activity, but dry weather is expected for much of the day. An approaching cold front will continue to trail us, bringing showers and thunderstorms to OH and NW PA, but luckily it’ll be just slow enough so our final push into Lancaster should be largely an easy task. We’ve made it!