Category Archives: Road Trip

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!

Columbia, South Carolina to Lawrence, Kansas

There will be a lot of travelling over the next few days for people the nation over. Let’s take a look at one possible route with our road trip toady. The trip will cover 1032 miles and last almost 2 days exactly. The trek will proceed at a pace of 68.8mph, which means the first day, which will be longer, will allow us to cover 550 miles at that pace. I think it’s about time to hit the road, don’t you?

 

DAY ONE (Monday)

The drive out of South Carolina will be fairly tranquil, but with a weak low level vort maximum sliding in from Alabama and Mississippi, there is a threat for some showers and thunderstorms to develop as the day warms up. The shower activity will be unable to move over the southern Appalachians, because the moisture is seated in the lower levels of the atmosphere. As a result, as we clear the mountains into Knoxville, we will also clear the air. Tennessee, aside from that spurt through the Smokey Mountains, will be high and dry. We’ll make it into western Kentucky, stopping in the town of Grand Rivers, which seems like a good time, given its proximity to the Cumberland River. I guess we’ll find out.

DAY TWO (Tuesday)
The trip from Kentucky to Kansas will be relatively uneventful as well. Day time thunderstorms will bubbble up as far north as western Kentucky, but that won’t happen until late in the day. Driving through southern Illinois and our cross section of Missouri will be just fine, but a weak upper level trough sliding through the Plains promises to introduce a new level of organization to the weather pattern. Some thunderstorms, potentially a few big ones, will erupt over eastern Kansas, and will be a looming concern from Kansas City to Lawrence. Be prepared to make a run for the hotel upon the arrival in Lawrence.

State College, Pennsylvania to Odessa, Texas

We’re all set for another road trip, this time covering 3 full days, as we head from Pennsylvania to west Texas. The mileage will be 1676, which we will cover at a pace of 69.8mph, which means we will blast through the Midwest, covering 558.7 miles a day. Thank you, Eisenhower interstate system! Let’s start the week right, with a trip to Texas!


DAY ONE (Monday)
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We’re still enjoying the after effects of a strong cold front that moved through the eastern United States, as temperatures are cool and the air is dry. The atmosphere aloft is still in the grips of a massive trough, that is only getting shorter in wavelength, which means increased perturbation of the atmosphere. A weak bundle of energy moving through the Great Lakes will bring the threat of some light, popcorn showers by the time we hit central Indiana, and we may see some light rain through Indianapolis, but certainly nothing severe, and mostly likely with the sun visible, peaking around the clouds as it rains. We’ll make it to Brazil, Indiana, about 15 miles east of Terre Haute, and call it a night.

DAY TWO (Tuesday)
Any more consternation that the weak Great Lakes feature wants to prolong will be suppressed by the strong dome of high pressure smothering the region. Expect things to remain mostly sunny and still quite dry as we slice through the center of the country, spending time in Illinois and Missouri, passing through St. Louis on our way to the eastern suburbs of Tulsa, where we will caall it a night, still managing to avoid any particularly inclement weather.

DAY THREE (Wednesday)
Things are going to start returning to normal by mid-week. That is to say, expect much warmer weather as an area of low pressure moved into the northern Plains, beginning to draw that summer time heat northward. Along with heat, don’t forget humidity, which will also be on the rise, especially with thunderstorms beginning to emerge on the Gulf Coast. Our route will take us through Oklahoma and Texas, artfully slicing between both stormy features, and we will instead only enjoy the baking heat of the southern Plains. Get some ice cream in Odessa, as you will certainly want some.

Tuscaloosa, Alabama to State College, Pennsylvania

It’s truly not on purpose, but once again, it appears that we have avoided terrible weather for our road trip. We will cover a day and a half, straddling the Appalachians as we move from Alabama to Pennsylvania. The mileage on this trek is 896 miles, which we will proceed at a pace of 64.7mph, which means our first, longer day will necessitate 517.5 miles on day one. Let’s see if we can find State College.


DAY ONE (Sunday)

Now that a cold front has reached the coast, and a nice pool of cool, dry air has settled in over the interior southeast, there isn’t much more you could ask for as a motorist. We should reach the southern end of the Appalachians without any problems, and will enjoy the view through eastern Tennessee and on into western Virginia with a few little dabs of puffy white clouds painted across the sky. We’ll nearly make it to Blacksburg, but will stop for the night in Pulaski.

DAY TWO (Monday)
An upper level trough is rotating its way into the eastern part of North America, a small pool of energy moving through the Great Lakes has, and will continue to kick up some light rain showers. The batch of energy isn’t strong enough to really threaten to overcome any elevated terrain, looking almost like a batch of lake effect snow. At the very end of our day Monday, we might encounter a spot of light rain in State College, but before that, expect mostly sunny skies and perfect temperatures for rolling down the windows.

Brunswick, Georgia to Panama City, Florida

We’re going to take a road trip, but we’ll make sure it’s brief today, as we head from the Atlantic coast of southeast Georgia to the Gulf Coast of the Florida Panhandle. The cities of Brunswick are separated by 332 miles and a little over 5 hours. A big chunk of the day will be slowed by travelling through Jacksonville, but we will still maintain a pace of 64.9mph. We are spending quite a bit of time in north Florida, so I hope you like it.



There isn’t much organization in the southeastern US, but with low pressure continuing to ebb and fade in the northeast, sea breezes will continue to collide with slightly drierair inland, and produce some scattered showers and thunderstorms. Rain won’t be widespread, by any means, but don’t be surprised by a few scattered showers here and there as we pass through north Florida. The best area for convergence is always around Lake City, so if you want to make bets or something, bet on seeing a shower there. Also, if you want to make bets, you have a gambling problem. The threat for rain will still be present in Panama City, but it should be more sun than rain.

Terre Haute, Indiana to New Orleans, Louisiana

If you stuck around after our initial forecast, you will know that the weather in New Orleans for the next day and a half of this drive will be in excellent shape, but what about the 783 miles in between? We’ll cover that mileage at a pace of 68.5,mph, at which pace we will cover 548 miles on Thursday’s drive.

 
DAY ONE (Thursday)

Indeed, warm weather and sunny skies have come to the Mississippi Valley after a long stretch of busy weather in the area. Don’t be surprised to see a lot of people just outside and enjoying it at any stop that is made. Maybe have lunch by the river in Memphis. It’s going to be nice day, is what I’m saying. We’ll make it to Mississippi and the town of Richland, which is about 75 miles northeast of Jackson.

DAY TWO (Friday)
Like I said in the intro, New Orleans is going to be very nice to drive through. So too, will Jackson and all parts in between. It will even be tolerably cool. Not quite to the dog days yet, but they are coming soon.

Gainesville, Florida to Napa, California

One of the first road trips we ever took on Victoria-Weather many, many moons ago, was from Gainesville to Chico, California. This won’t be terribly different in terms of route or distance, but I should hope almost 10 years later, that the trip itself will be a little different. It will take us 5 complete days, covering 2731 miles, at a pace of 68mph to reach Napa. We will cover 546 miles a day in our efforts to cross the country.

DAY ONE (Thursday)

Boy, is the forecast map looking more and more like summer, expecially in the southern United States. The NAM and GFS are looking at sea breeze thunderstorms along the Gulf Coast with varying degrees if intensity. With these small scale events, the NAM’s precision often makes it the better model. If that is indeed the case on Thursday, watch out for strong thunderstorms with heavy rain, particularly over southern Alabama as we navigate our way north towards Hattiesburg. We will see more isolated thundershowers in Mississippi as the day winds down, and the stop for the night will come in Magee, about 50 minutes southeast of Jackson.

DAY TWO (Friday)
A little vort max is expected to develop around the Mississippi Delta by the afternoon, so the threat for organized thunderstorms along our route will be fairly low. Still, with latent moisture still high, and heat in the afternoon, don’t be surprised to see a smattering of showers over northern Louisiana and Texas as the heat of the afternoon sets in. We’ll dodge rain drops most of the day, which is fine, because we will need to keep the windows rolled up and the AC on the whole day. We’ll stop for the night in Bellevue, Texas, which is about 45 minutes southeast of Wichita Falls.

DAY THREE (Saturday)
The drive through north Texas and northern New Mexico will be fairly active. Most of the region will be under the influence of a broad, weak area of circulation, with a smattering of showers early in the day, with thunderstorms filtering in later. The rain will back into New Mexico as the day progresses, with thunderstorms butting up against the higher terrain that makes up the spine of the Land of Enchantment. We will almost definitely get a bit of precipitation, but it certainly won’t be a washout. The day will end on the west side of Alburquerque.

DAY FOUR (Sunday)
Showers and thunderstorms are going to be a thing of the past, especially as we cross northern Arizona. There might be a few isolated spots of rain in New Mexico, but that activity will wait to develop until after we have left the state. Northern Arizona will provide us with no problems, and the only issue we will have in southern California will be finding a place to stay. Incredible that the coast can be so populous, and inland, it’s so empty. Let’s say around the Camino Airstrip by Bigelw Cholla National Wilderness, we will stop for our final evening.

DAY FIVE (Monday)
High pressure! Ridging! Driving through California will be a piece of cake! Except for any traffic through the bigger towns of the central Valley, of course, but traffic through inland towns is so much easier to manage. The day will end in Napa, with sun and a glass of wine.

Gulfport, Mississippi to Macon, Georgia

Only a one-day trip today, from the Gulf Coast to Central Georgia. Will the Southeast be quiet as we make our way to the Peach State for a weekend getaway? Let’s see!

High pressure is found throughout the Southeast today, and should be a fog-free morning as we head out of Gulfport towards Mobile, AL. No afternoon showers and storms are expected along the route, so it should be a quiet and sun-filled day for the entire route! Easy peasy!