We will travel from one capital city to the other over the next week or so, headed from the bustling Atlanta to the more serene Olympia over the course of 5 days. The drive will cover 2718 miles at a pace of about 68mph, and with a goal of 544 miles on any given day. I think it’s time we pack our things. Will we see any other capital cities along the way?
DAY ONE (Saturday)
For the beginning of our long, cross country drive, all eyes will be to our south, where we will need to monitor Hurricane Delta, which will be expiring in the Mississippi Valley. A dangerous feeder band of showers and storms angling into Delta from the Tennessee Valley. Most of these will be rain storms with little lightning and thunder, but even without lightning or thunder, rogue tornadoes are always a possibility. As Delta erodes and we head north, the rain threat will dissipate, about as we cross the Ohio into Illinois, but it will still be overcast at day’s end. Day’s end will be in Caseyville, a St. Louis suburb.
DAY TWO (Sunday)
Low pressure developing in the plains will be robbed of moisture by the remnants of Delta, but the pressure squeeze of remnant hurricane, to ridge, to deepening area of low pressure will make for a very windy day as we head for the Plains. We will come very close to Kansas and Nebraska, but we will stay on the eastern side of the Missouri River before finally dipping across into far southeast South Dakota, and spending the night in North Sioux City.
DAY THREE (Monday)
There will be a distinct chill to the air as we spend most of our day in South Dakota. A cold front will pass us in the evening on Sunday with little to no fanfare. The after effects will be notable, as temperatures may struggle to climb above freezing. Still, it will be dry, which is a pleasant bit of news. We will clip Wyoming and make it to the ghost town of Hammond in southeastern Montana to end the day.
DAY FOUR (Tuesday)
This drive is looking very familiar. We have recently taken a drive across Montana for another long road trip, and our endpoints before we reached Bellingham, and that we stopped at before we reach Olympia are very similar. This time, we’re going to stop in Missoula after a pretty clear day. The back side of the system we saw in North Sioux City may leave a few whitecaps in western Montana, but it will be dry for our arrival.
DAY FIVE (Wednesday)
A pretty good system will move into the Pacific Northwest from the Gulf of Alaska in the early to middle part of next week. As we get going Wednesday, be sure to drive those mountain curves with caution, as they may be rain slicked, with some snow again possible above our elevation. By the time we reach the Cascade rain shadow in central and Eastern Washington, it will e as though nothing happened. Thanks, geography! When we reach Puget Sound, the Gulf of Alaska storm will have departed, but low clouds, drizzle and fog will remain. It will be a little bit clearer in Olympia, but still a bit dismal. Oh, and to answer the question at the top, despite all this driving will account for but one other capital city.