Category Archives: Road Trip

Manchester, New Hampshire to San Jose, California

Ooh, this is going to be a long trip. The trip will cover 6 days on the calendar and 3165 miles on the map. Thanks to those transcontinental interstates that we will make use of, we will be able to maintain a speed of 67.3mph, which means the first 5 days will cover 538 miles per day. The final day will be a hair shorter, but by that point, I think we will just happy to be in San Jose.

DAY ONE (Wednesday)

Well, Gert is still going strong out in the Gulfstream, and indirectly, she will make our first day on the road a good one. High pressure with clear skies is going to move into the region, allowing us an easy drive through Massachusetts and Upstate New York. We’ll make it to the western part of the state and the town of Wesfield along the shores of Lake Erie, and just north of the Pennsylvania border.

DAY TWO (Thursday)
After a good day of driving on Wednesday, we will encounter our first real system, as an upper level low charges in from the Upper Midwest into the Great Lakes. It’s not going to be one of those systems that has a ton of severe weather, especially as we first encounter it around Ashtabula, Ohio, but we might see some heavy rain and thunder nevertheless. The cold front is moving fairly quickly as these early autumn (I know, not yet) features can. We’ll get one last dose of rain around Chicago, and then cover the remainder of northern Illinois and make it all the way to Peru in the central part of the state before we call it a night.

DAY THREE (Friday)
It will be a bit cloudy as the low in the Great Lakes will slow down and churn up the atmosphere in its wake. An inverted trough angled from the Upper Midwest towards Iowa, a state that we will spend a great portion of our Friday. There may be a touch of precipitation between Des Moines and Omaha, but it will be very hit or miss. We’ll likely collect a drop or two, if my road tripping history tells me anything, but not enough to slow us down on the arrow straight I-80. We will make it into Nebraska, past Omaha and Grand Island, all the way to Wood River, where we will stop for the night.

DAY FOUR (Saturday)
Like I said, that weak little low seems to be the only issue we will encounter on our drive this week. A nice fat ridge will be setting up by the weekend over the Rockies and High Plains. Unless there are some microscale wind gusts in the valleys of Central Wyoming. We’ll make it to Red Desert, which is a small spot between Rawlins and Rock Springs.

DAY FIVE (Sunday)
There is rarely anything to chat about when we get from Wyoming to the Great Basin, both because the weather is pretty static, and because there aren’t many benchmarks on the map to reference if there is anything going on. By Sunday, that upper level ridge will be shifting to the east, allowing some monsoonal flow to start spilling back to the north, but any precipitation will be at the very peaks of the tallest mountains of the Wasatch. While we likely won’t see precipitation from these storms, don’t be surprised if there is a little bit of wind rushing down the mountains. We’ll stop in Battle Mountain in northern Nevada, which isn’t really a mountain, but a flat bit of land near a mountain.

DAY SIX (Monday)
More moisture will be spilling into the Great Basin as the ridge continues its departure. It will be late in the day before the wet weather shifts east to encounter the Sierras between Reno and Sacramento, and it seems very likely that we will get through the area before any real wet weather sets itself up. The heat wave has dissipated out west, so expect a comfortable drive through California to the Silicone Valley, finally culminating this enormous road trip.

Minneapolis, Minnesota to Gulfport, Mississippi

Today we embark on a long 2-day road trip from Minneapolis to the Gulf Coast. It’s nearly 1200 miles, so we have 2 full days ahead of us. Will the weather make it feel even longer? Let’s take a look!

DAY ONE

High pressure sitting over the Great Lakes is keeping the area dry this morning, but there’s some areas of fog expected to last into the mid-morning hours thanks to the increased humidity. It shouldn’t be too much of a problem as we head southward into Iowa. Mostly sunny skies are expected as we push through Cedar Rapids and Iowa City and eventually into Eastern Missouri. Our quiet day will end in the southern outskirts of St. Louis.

DAY TWO

As low pressure continues to push out into the Plains, some spotty activity is expected to develop out ahead of it over the MS River Valley, with some isolated showers possible as we continue into southeast MO on I-55. We’re going to be following this interstate for most of the day, so directions will be fairly easy to follow as we sneak into northeast AR and eventually by Memphis. Some widely scattered thunderstorms are possible from Memphis and continues southward to Jackson, where we veer onto I-49 which will take us the rest of the way. We could run into a couple of stronger afternoon/evening thunderstorms as we push through MS, but most of the activity by this point should already be dissipating and dry weather is expected for the rest of the ride into Gulfport!

Lafayette, Louisiana to Bellingham, Washington

Today we embark on a lengthy, 5-day road trip from southern LA to the far reaches of the Pacific Northwest. 2,552 miles lay between us and our destination, so let’s not waste any more time!

DAY ONE

There could be some scattered shower/thunderstorm activity developing over the region as we begin our trip this morning as has been the pattern over the last several days along the Gulf Coast. They shouldn’t affect us for very long, thankfully, as we travel away from them up towards Shreveport then continue westward into northern Texas. Most of the remainder of the day will be dry with increasing clouds as we pass by Dallas, but a chance of storms exists as we finish the day in Wichita Falls, TX.

DAY TWO

Our trip continues a westward direction as we finish our Texas leg and push into New Mexico. Unfortuantely, the tail end of a boundary continues to linger over the Red River Valley, keeping showers and thunderstorms in the forecast for much of the day from Wichita Falls through at least Amarillo. Conditions should quiet a little bit as we pass Tucumcari, but a late evening flare up of storms could kick on our wipers as we make our way into Albuquerque for the night.

DAY THREE

Some isolated shower could be lingering in the area when we head northwestward out of Albuquerque in the morning, but most of the morning in NM should be fairly quiet. Dry weather will continue as we pass on by the Four Corners are into southwest Colorado. Some scattered shower and thunderstorm activity will be possible again in the late afternoon/evening hours as we push into southeastern Utah, particularly as we get to Moab. Activity will dwindle during the late evening hours, however, and should be quiet as we finish in Price, UT.

DAY FOUR

High pressure building down over Southern Canada, mainly from Manitoba to Alberta, is keeping much of the diurnal monsoon thunderstorm activity down today, with isolated activity popping off only the highest areas in northern UT and western MT, with spotty activity found in N NV and S OR as well. Pretty much the entire day will be quiet weatherwise as we head by Salt Lake City and Ogden and then into southern Idaho where we’ll see Twin Falls and Boise before we finish our day in Ontario, OR, just a stone’s throw over the Snake River into Oregon.

DAY FIVE

A very quiet day is expected for the remainder of our trip as high pressure persists over the Pacific Northwest. Lots of sunshine is anticipated as we push through northeast Oregon and eventually into southern Washington near Kennewick and pass on by Yakima. The late-afternoon and evening hours will be quiet as we pass by Seattle and eventually finish our trip in Bellingham!

Muncie, Indiana to Yakima, Washington

While neither scity at the end points of this road trip are typically through of as tourist destinations, a late summer drive along this route would be quite interesting. There will be praries and mountains and valleys and national parks all along the way for us to stretch our legs and enjoy. We are in for a 4 day trek covering 2187 miles. We’ll just be quartering up the days, so our approximately 68mph pace will mean a daily goal of about 547 miles.


DAY ONE (Saturday)

Unusually cool air is expected to develop behind a cold front moving out of the Great Lakes, setting up the terrible pattern of being cool when you get into the car, but too warm after driving with the sun beating down on you. Do you turn on the AC? Roll down a window? Heaven for bid you try to take off a layer while driving through central Illinois. A developing system in the central Plains will kick some clouds and warmer air north late in the day, but we will stay dry to start the weekend, stopping in Rudd in northeastern Iowa to finish our first of four days.

DAY TWO (Sunday)
That developing system in the central Plains is going to be a heck of a rain maker in Missouri and southern Iowa this weekend. As we get going, some of that might bleed into Rudd, and stay with us during the first leg of Sunday’s drive to Mason City. Unlike driving in the wake of the feature on Saturday, we will not be blessed with dry air and clear skies. Instead, expect moisture to wrap into the still developing upper level trough behind the leading edge of the feature, leading to cooling clouds and rain showers. This is a broad, open trough, and these clouds and showers will stay with us all the way to Wicksville, South Dakota, between Wall and Rapid City. This will be our stop to conclude the weekend. Hope the sleeping bag is warm!

DAY THREE (Monday)
One other difference between the Day One Great Lakes low and the Day two Plains low, is that the high pressure behind the trough will be much stronger in the northern High Plains. Expect it to settle in and keep things mostly sunny, dry and increasingly warm from Wicksville to Whitehall in southwestern Montana.

DAY FOUR (Tuesday)
There was a lot of rain in the High Plains this week, but the Pacific Northwest will remain completely dry through the 4 days we are headed out towards Yakima. The central Valley will remain very hot as we move in, and it will continue to be quite smoky throughout the region, as there is a continue threat for wildfire initiation to go along with the fires that are already raging. It will be hot and smoky in Yakima, so maybe find a spot with a good air filtration system.

Pueblo, Colorado to Boise, Idaho

There isn’t much of a direct route between Pueblo and Boise, so despite a somewhat short distance between the two cities as the crow flies, it will take nearly two full days to cover the distance between the towns in the car, covering 936 miles. We’ll move at a pace of 67.6mph, or in other words, we’ll cover 541 miles on Sunday’s drive.

DAY ONE (Sunday)

High pressure in the Plains is working to shove a whole lot of moisture right up against the Rockies this weekend, and after some widespread showers and thunderstorms today, there will be more isolated showers and storms tomorrow. There could be some rain as we head north along the Front Range, with the best chance for coming south of the Palmer Divide, but most of the thunder will wait until later in the day, after we have made a westward turn at Laramie, Wyoming. After Laramie, we won’t have any weather issues, stopping near Evanston in the southwest corner for the night.

DAY TWO (Monday)
Expect hot and dry conditions to continue to build through the day on Monday. Triple digits will be possible in the valleys, but fortunately, upper level ridging should do a good job of stamping out too much wind across the region, which will limit the dust and threat for spreading wildfires. Nevertheless, expect to pull into Boise with an immediate need for a glass of water.

Longview, Texas to Pueblo, Colorado

Our trip today will take us through the dustiest part of the Plains, from north Texas to eastern Colorado. It will be a day and a half from Longview to Pueblo, covering 808 miles. The first day, as always, will be a full day, at a pace of 63.6mph, which means we will be 509 miles into the trip when we call it a day. If only there was a freeway around here.


DAY ONE (Friday)

We are starting at the very easternmost part of the state of Texas, and we won’t leave it. We’ll make it through Dallas-Fort Worth, Wichita Falls and barely pass by Amarillo before the day is over. Most of north Texas will be dry, but the tail of a cold front will touch off some thunderstorms over the Texas Panhandle. Low pressure is going to develop in the Mid-Atlantic, with a strong cold front emerging from east to west from Tennessee to the Panhandle. The Panhandle will be at the tail of the front, so rain and thunder won’t be widespread but this being the Texas Panhandle, whatever does develop could be jumbo sized. The chance we get clipped by one is fairly low, though, maybe 10-20%, and even then, likely when we have stopped in Bishop Hills, on the outskirts of Amarillo.

DAY TWO (Saturday)
There will be a pair of features threatening our route on Saturday morning. There will be lingering thunderstorms at the tail end of that cold front, while a wave moving through the Rockies will generate clusters of storms in the in the higher terrain, aided by monsoonal flow. We will have a corridor, however, through the Panhandles and southeastern Colorado. Some clouds with an isolated shower may peek over the Rockies and bring some afternoon showers to Pueblo, but I wouldn’t count on it.

Couer d’Alene, Idaho to Minneapolis, Minnesota

We’re on the go again tonight! From far northern Idaho here to VW headquarters, it’ll take 1,346 miles to cover the journey. What kind of weather will we see from the Rockies through the Plains? Let’s explore!

DAY ONE

High pressure is found over southern Alberta building down over portions of the Northern Rockies and ND, keeping the bulk of shower and thunderstorm activity over far southern Montana and into Wyoming. A fairly quiet start to the day is expected as we head eastward out of Couer d’Alene and past Missoula and Butte. Some spotty shower activity is possible once we get to Bozeman, but anything of substance should remain off to the south as we finish the day in Billings.

DAY TWO

High pressure continues to build down over the far northern US, encompassing eastern Montana and North Dakota. This should make for a pretty quiet and sun-filled drive along I-94 as we trek from Billings past Miles city and into ND. We eventually finish our day in Bismarck.

DAY THREE

It’s going to sound like a broken record, but that’s a good thing in this case! Our friendly high pressure system continues keeping us shielded as we finish our tour of I-94 today. Sunny skies will continue to greet us as we push through Jamestown and Fargo into Minnesota. Alexandria and St. Cloud make for good afternoon pit stop locations before we pull into Minneapolis!

Prescott, Arizona to Couer d’Alene, Idaho

Today we embark on a 1,300-mile road trip, from central Arizona northwards to far northern Idaho. Not very often we take a road trip through the Rockies that goes south-north! Let’s see what the next few days have in store for the Western US!

DAY ONE

Monsoon season is in full-swing over the Southwest US, with plentiful afternoon thunderstorms popping off over the mountain ranges throughout Arizona and southern Utah. Dry weather should greet us to start the day as we head out of Prescott and persist throughout much of northern Arizona. By early afternoon, as we make our way through southwestern Utah, we’ll have to start dodging some scattered cells that develop as we make our way along Hwy 89 and eventually to I-15, but the worst of the activity will be behind us over northern AZ. We might encounter a couple brief thunderstorms as we trek along I-15 in Utah before we finish our long day in Nephi, Utah.

DAY TWO

It will be another day of mostly due north driving all along I-15. There’s a weak boundary looking to push through MT into northern WY throughout the day, and with enhanced monsoonal moisture lifting through the Four Corners region today, we could see some widely scattered activity already festering around the Nephi area when we depart in the morning. It looks more like shower activity as opposed to constant thunderstorms, so not terribly much for us to worry about as we pass by Provo and eventually Salt Lake City. There could be a few scattered showers for us to negotiate through as we make our way into Idaho and eventually by Pocatello and Idaho Falls. North of there, dry weather should be expected the rest of the way as we head into Montana and finish the day in Butte.

DAY THREE

Today will be a short day and it’s just a couple hundred miles more to our destination, and with high pressure moving in over the Northern Rockies, our day should be stress-free! Weather-wise anyways.

Memphis, Tennessee to Monroe, Louisiana

Short trip as we head closer to the weekend. We’re only covering 321 miles, on a trek that will last only half a day. We will keep a pace of 68.3mph, as we will keep it to the interstates.



Much as it has been for a few days now, there will be a band of showers and storms mirroring the more intense swath at the base of an upper level trough along the Canadian border, reflected from the Carolinas to the Lower Mississippi Valley. A few bands of isolated showers and storms will crop up as we tick past noon, which means that the second half of our drive will be the most suspect. There will be an isolated shower or thunderstorm as we press south, probably from Winona, Mississippi, through Jackson and then west towards Monroe. It won’t be a washout by any means, but the threat for a remote storm doinking us certainly enough to consider, especially since rain could be heavy enough to slow traffic. Fortunately, Monroe is not a town with a lot of traffic.

Hattiesburg, Mississippi to Memphis, Tennessee

Just a short little trip as the Independence Day holiday winds down, we just have a half day trip through Mississippi for our journey tonight. It’s 298 miles between the two towns, which we will cover at a pace of 65mph. It’s going to be a hot, short trip, so let’s go before the sun heats up the car in the lot.

 

Unfortunately, there actually is a deep digging trough into the lower Mississippi Valley, even this late into the summer. The low itself lies over central Missouri and will generate a cold front through central Arkansas. Moisture feeding the boundary will bring showers and storms to northern Mississippi, but there is a chance that some isolated showers and storms crop up outpacing the main area of rain fall through central Mississippi. That remote chance will sneak into our route north of Kosciusko, while the more persistent activity will enter the picture around Batesville. Slow moving showers and storms, with the potential for flash flooding will arrive as we reach Memphis, so wear your galoshes!