Boy, we know when to pick these cross country trips. This trip, into the teeth of one of the most significant storms for the Upper Midwest in decades, will last 4 days in ideal conditions, though these will be less than ideal. It’s 2065 miles between the systems, and right now is prognosticated to have a pace of 66.6mph, which will lead to a perhaps aspirational 533 miles a day. Day 4 will be a hair shorter than the rest, but they are all going to feel long, I reckon.
DAY ONE (Tuesday)
The entirety of our route on Tuesday will be in a at least a winter storm warning, while some stretches of southern Wyoming are in a blizzard warning. I think the heaviest snow will be in Montana tomorrow, though we will be seeing snow around Logan as we set forth. Wind will be on the increase throughout the day, but we will probably be dry from time to time from Kemmerer to Rock Springs, then even more sparsely through the remainder of the state of Wyoming. Assuming we keep our pace, we will be just ahead of the worst of the snow, but any flurries we see will be wind driven and challenging. The day will end in Sidney, in the Nebraska Panhandle. Batten down the hatches, it is going to be a long night.
DAY TWO (Wednesday)
This is definitely our most imagination driven day. The heavier snow is going to sink south into Nebraska, along with a cold frontal wind, and it is not out of the question that blizzard conditions will grip most of I-80 in Nebraska. If that’s the case, then the road might simply be closed. The nasty parts of the storm will be cut off by a dry slot nosing north into the Omaha and Nebraska City regions, and we might even get some dry air after we leave the freeway in Lincoln. Expect to see drier condition as we head south, west of a cold front that will, by this point, have advanced into Iowa and Missouri. We will end the day in Kansas City, and be extremely grateful for it.
DAY THREE (Thursday)
The nasty storm is going to focus it’s wrath to our north by Thursday, which is good news for our travels, bad news for the Great Lakes. South winds will be rushing north to meet that area of low pressure, and especially east of St. Louis, we will need both hands on the steering wheel, as if they haven’t been white knuckling the whole way already. We’ll make it to Simpsonville, east of Louisville, by the end of this day.
DAY FOUR (Friday)
Low pressure will be moving vaguely poleward by the end of the week, and this is a relief for us. Dry skies will continue on the way to Greensboro, though a little band of light rain will develop eventually to our south and west, and that wind that will buffet us on Thursday will also be a memory. The arrival in Greensboro will come after 4 long days of driving, and will be quite a relief.