Columbus, Georgia to Hattiesburg, Mississippi

We’re going to spend most of this 5 hour drive in Alabama, touching Montgomery and Mobile along the way. This pretty short drive will cover 327 miles at a pace of 64.1mph, which is also pretty reasonable for a short trip. All right, places to be, let’s go.

Columbus, Georgia

There is a strong area of low pressure in the Canadian Maritimes, and it is producing a cold front that is very active even in central Florida tonight. The boundary is reinforced by an area of low pressure emerging in the Gulf of Mexico. The increasing circulation will induce northerly winds in the southeastern US. While Florida will be particularly rainy, Alabama and it’s neighbors will be seasonably cool, with bright blue skies. It won’t even be humid in southern Mississippi when we arrive Sunday afternoon.

Hattiesburg, Mississippi

San Luis Obispo, California to Hattiesburg, Mississippi

A business trip this week. Why a business trip? Because it will start on Monday and last through Thursday. Expect it to cover 2074 miles at a pace of a little more than 69mph, which will get us a healthy 553 miles a day for the first three days of our trek. And not to spoil anything, but the weather does look good.

DAY ONE (Monday)

San Luis Obispo, California

High pressure is back out there, everyone. it’s dominating the majority of the country this week, and the southwest US is no exception. The hardest part of the day will be leaving San Luis Obispo (because it’s so lovely) but we will arrive with no concerns at the Crookton Road exit, east of Seligman, Arizona.

DAY TWO (Tuesday)
Nothing is really going to change on Tuesday, except for our location. We will see some rising and falling terrain, but not any real weather change. Heck, we’ll even be on I-40 the whole way. We’ll make it to Tucumcari, New Mexico, before this easy day concludes.

DAY THREE (Wednesday)
Our good luck continues on Wednesday, as we spend much of the day in a calm, quiet Texas. The road will be clear, but be wary of traffic in Dallas, because it will have been a while since we saw any. The jet will start forming a kink south of Texas, and that can portend bad news for the atmosphere, but it won’t yet, not on Wednesday. We stop in Canton, Texas for one last pit stop.

DAY FOUR (Thursday)
The trough will indeed start stirring up some wet weather, but it won’t emerge until after we are on our way into Mississippi. The rain will be over Mexico, low pressure in west Texas, and mostly sunny skies in Hattiesburg.

Hattiesburg, Mississippi

Olympia, Washington to New York, New York

There is nothing more exciting than a January road trip, cross country through the northern US. What could go wrong? We’re going to travel for 5 days, covering 2,877 miles. Day 5 will be our longest day, after the first 4 days will be through after consuming 548 miles at a pace of 68.5mph. Don’t forget the scraper!

DAY ONE (Saturday)

Olympia, Washington

The rain will be falling in in western Washington as we get our drive started, and we can enjoy the Seattle area traffic in that same rain. Of course, we will be getting on I-94 near Snoqualmie, which means we will be forced to contend with some mountain snow through the Cascades. The system will be strong enough that we will still see some rain, albeit lighter, in the space between the Cascades and the northern Rockies. Visibility will be limited if we have designs on seeing Spokane as we pass by. The snow will return again in the western faces of the Rockies along the Idaho-Montana border, but the precipitation will finally be squeezed out of the feature, and when e get into the eastern facing valleys, ultimately stopping in Bearmouth, Montana, which is between Butte and Missoula.

DAY TWO (Sunday)
The system in question is headed southward through the weekend, which will rob Montana of much by way of potential snowfall. Upsloping flow will make it a little bit warmer from Bozeman to Big Timber. There will still be clouds throughout eastern Montana, but the precipitation will dry up as we hit flatter ground. We will reach the northeast corner of Wyoming and the small town of Colony to stop for the night.

DAY THREE (Monday)
While we sleep, the low pressure center is going to sink further south and east, tapping into some serious Gulf moisture as it intensifies. The bulk of the moisture is going to be spent in the central Plains, but an inverted trough will set up in the Upper Midwest. There will be a little bit of snow in western South Dakota overnight, but as we get moving, the first chance for falling snow will be around Chamberlain, as we cross the Missouri River. I say falling snow, because in South Dakota, there are no trees and there is a bunch of wind. Don’t be surprised if blowing snow is a major issue, even with just a couple of inches, maybe less. Steadier snow will continue in eastern South Dakota and into southern Minnesota. It’s been a quiet start to the winter in Minnesota, and the snow falling will be the first they’ve seen along I-90 this winter. It should be well managed, but it will be slow driving until we reach Blue Earth for our stop.

DAY FOUR (Tuesday)
Our drive Tuesday is going to be complicated, but at the same time, not so much. The system is well advertised as a big winter weather make headed for New England and the Mid Atlantic, but don’t sleep on the potential for big snow in the Great Lakes either. We will be fine, probably, through southeastern Minnesota and western Wisconsin, but it will take a sudden and fairly swift turn for the worse around Madison, and will be pretty nasty right on through Granger, Indiana, where we hope to make it for the night. Wind will be howling, making for ugly commutes throughout Chicago, as it will drive snow and make things very slow, and reduce visibility significantly. It’s a little ways out, but right now, the target maximum for snow is right through the heart of Chicago, and it could stack up 6-12″ in some spots. It will be a relief to reach Granger.

DAY FIVE (Wednesday)
The significant weather will be behind us by the time we head out on Wednesday, but much of the eastern Great Lakes will be cleaning up after this major winter storm. There will still be some howling west winds and some mountain snow through the Appalachians of Pennsylvania, but that threat will be winding down as the day continues. The wind, too, will start to wrap up as we head through the Poconos, ultimately arriving in New York, which will start getting itself back to normal as we arrive. Or whatever normal is for New York City.

New York City, New York
By Dllu – This file has been extracted from another file, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=126278106

Lebanon, Pennsylvania to Tucson, Arizona

Merry Christmas, everyone! Some people may end up driving over the holidays, and for those people, this one is for you. We’re taking a 4 day trip from the northeast to the southwest. The route covers 2261 miles, at a pace of 68.5mph, which means those days, especially the first three, will cover 548 miles. with the longest, dullest day for Tuesday.

DAY ONE (Sunday)

Lebanon, Pennsylvania

The weather is going to get a little bit interesting as the drive progresses, but for our Sunday, a strong ridge is parked on the east coast, and aside for some very dense morning in many parts of our route, the weather should cooperate. The drive will take us through some un-turnpiked Ohio and Indiana, before we stop in Greenfield, just east of Indianapolis.

DAY TWO (Monday)
It’s probable that we will get underway with dry but foggy skies on Christmas morning, but an advancing cold front will intercept us before reach the Illinois border. The heaviest rain is going to come in eastern Illinois, between the Indiana border and Effingham. The rain will mostly be wrapped up before we hit the Mississippi, however, and blustery conditions will take over in Missouri. The drive from St. Louis to Sampson, Missouri, which is about 40 miles before Springfield, will be windy and increasingly crisp, but dry.

DAY THREE (Tuesday)
It will be dry and sunny for the first time of our drive on Boxing Day, but one variable will be different. It’s going to be chilly as we pass through Oklahoma and head towards Amarillo. The wind will be a bit breezy, but not as bad as on Christmas. Some warmth will start building back in by the time we arrive in Texas/ We’ll take the Panhandle, Texas exit, which is in the Texas Panhandle east of Amarillo.

DAY FOUR (Wednesday)
The last day will be spent mostly in New Mexico, which is a notoriously difficult place to get right. It is higher in elevation than the Plains, a little bit wetter than the desert further west, and all together susceptible to the changing winds. OF course, the biggest fungible variable is temperature, which doesn’t matter unless it’s down towards freezing, which it won’t be. New Mexico won’t be a problem, and Tucson will be delightful.

Tucson, Arizona

Greenville, South Carolina to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

We are approaching Christmas, and to celebrate, we have a one day road trip. There is some weather looming for the route in question, but for now, the pace for the 542 mile trek is going to be about 66mph. We’re spending the most time in West Virginia on this trip, so you know there are going to be hills.

Greenville, South Carolina

Low pressure will be moving from the Gulf of Mexico to the Bight of Georgia overnigh.t. Heaviest precipitation will be downstate, but there will be significant rain coming from the region. There might be a bit of clearing shortly after we leave Greenville, but it will catch up, as this feature is really moving. The thereat for rain will undulate through the day, but will become steady, albeit lighter as we cross from West Virginia to Pennsylvania. There is an inverted trough that isn’t bringing the robust moisture that we will follow north to Pittsburgh, but it does offer some measure of reliability. Fortunately, it will still be too warm for snow, so expect some more light rain as we proceed into Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Salisbury, Maryland to Chattanooga, Tennessee

We were very close to a route requiring use of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge/Tunnel that connects the southern tip of the Delmarva Peninsula with the Virginia Beach area. Instead, we will slice through Washington and head right for the mountains. Depending on the time of da you run the route, you will get a variety of different options. Running it during rush hour makes it an 11 hour trek right through the heart of our Nation’s Capital, covering 721 miles. That is a pace of about 64.9mph, which is better than I expected. The route will be scenic, so let’s enjoy it, traffic and all.

Salisbury, Maryland

Taking a trip through DC and the mountains probably couldn’t be happening at a better time. Congress is about to call it a year, ensuring DC traffic will be significantly less burdensome, while the weather itself is going to be about as cooperative as it gets. A big ol’ dome of high pressure is planted over the Carolinas, and is bringing sunshine and unseasonably warm air to the Eastern Seaboard. It’s hard to complain about this kind of weather. Hold on tight after you get to Chattanooga, though. A strong system is organizing in the Gulf of Mexico, and will be very problematic to begin the week next week. Not a problem for this forecast, however!

Chattanooga, Tennessee

Lewiston, Maine to Salisbury, Maryland

This is going to be a 1 day trip that will touch 8 states! Sure, it will be a long 1 day, but that is still pretty incredible, considering we will be covering just 570 miles. Driving through the urban landscape of New England and the Mid-Atlantic, we’ll also only be slugging along at a 57mph pace. Plenty of time to take in all the sites.

Lewiston, Maine

Low pressure is looming as we approach mid-December. Winter has been slow in coming to the country, but a taste of it is going to be wrapping around on the northwestern side of this system. That does not include any part of our route through the East Coast’s largest cities. There appears to be a closure on the GW Bridge which might affect our route, but for the weather, this would just mean the southerly wind would be on our left rather than a headwind. Heck it might be warm enough in Salisbury to take a quick trip to the beach after we arrive, but before thar rain eventually gets there.

Salisbury, Maryland

Lima, Ohio to Oxnard, California

Let’s hit the road for a 4 day trip to the West Coast. We are enjoying a stretch of quiet weather throughout most of the country, so let’s see if that holds for our 2,298 mile journey. We’ll have a pace of 67.6mph, which means the first three days will have a goal of 541 miles, with a longer day coming for Saturday.

DAY ONE (Wednesday)

Lima, Ohio

Low pressure is churning in the northern Gulf of Mexico, bringing much needed rain to the Coast, and importantly, preventing much moisture from building into the middle of the country. Our first day of driving will be pretty easy, frankly, and we will see 4 states by the end of it. The stop for the night will be near Devil’s Elbow, Missouri, the site of the last part of the original Route 66 that was in use before being replaced by Interstate.

DAY TWO (Thursday)
Low pressure isn’t entirely the property of the Gulf. The Polar Jet is running along the Canadian border, and is going to kick up a Clipper that will charge through the Canadian Prairies. By Thursday, a cold front will slice through the Plains, and we will cross paths with it as we reach the end of our day in Amarillo. That said, don’t be surprised to see winds really pick up around Oklahoma City and continue through the day.

DAY THREE (Friday)
The wind will subside, and temperatures will be a bit chillier than when we awoke the morning before, even though we are a bit further south. The drive will be pretty easy, albeit barren of many chances to stop for gas. We’ll traverse New Mexico and eventually land in the Chevalon Creek Wildlife Area, not far from Winslow, and quite the beautiful spot.

DAY FOUR (Saturday)
I would say that 3/4ths of the drive on Saturday will be free of issues, but we are approaching the rainy season in California, and it is trying to start on time. An area of low pressure is moving near the coast by the weekend, and after we cross the Cajon Pass to Pasadena, we will be under the threat for some light showers. Our route will hug the San Gabriel and Topatopa Mountains, which will only make rain likelier, which isn’t great news, because Californians aren’t the best at driving in inclement conditions. We’ll make it, though, and prepare for things to green up with this taste of rain.

Oxnard
Oxnard, California

Cincinnati, Ohio to Hickory, North Carolina

We’re off on a fairly short trip, that somehow still covers 4 states. It will take 6 1/2 days to cover 439 miles, which equates to a pace of about 67.4mph, which is impressive, given the mountainous terrain we will cover through much of our journey. Thanks, freeways.

Cincinnati, Ohio

There is a mess of instability in the north Atlantic, and it is extending a few memories into the eastern US. By tomorrow morning, we will see a trough in the Great Lakes and a band on the Atlantic side of the Appalachians, from Virginia to South Carolina. The trough in the Great Lakes is going to leave us alone, though it will be breezy for most of our drive, until about Knoxville. A tropical wave near the Bahamas is going to leak to the north and inflame that rain in the coastal plains. It often seems like it is raining between Knoxville and Asheville. Lean more towards the Asheville side this time, and anticipate a shower or two in Hickory when we role in.

Hickory, North Carolina

Racine, Wisconsin to Victoria, Texas

We’re taking the rare 2 1/2 day trip that doesn’t once leave the Central Time Zone. The route will cover 1281 miles at a pace of 64.6mph, which means the full days will cover about 517 miles, leaving a pretty easy day to conclude the trip. Here’s hoping the weather along the route is just as easy.

DAY ONE (Friday)

Racine, Wisconsin

Our first day of our drive will be a fine lesson in Midwest driving. We’ll slice through Illinois and southeastern Missouri, including Chicago, as well as a raft of farm country in between. Low pressure will be just recently departing Wisconsin, but will still be spinning over Michigan as we depart. There will certainly be some overcast through Chicago, but cool and crisp northwest winds will begin to force their way in as we pass through Champaign. The sun will be out through southern Illinois, though it may be breezy. We’ll pop into Missouri and reach the Bootheel town of Caruthersville to conclude the first day of our trek.

DAY TWO (Saturday)
A late season ridge will be building back into the south central US over the weekend, with temperatures giving everyone a reprieve before the real winter air starts getting ideas. For our purposes, mostly sunny skies are going dominate the drive from Caruthersville through Arkansas and south to Lufkin, Texas, where we will spend our wild Saturday night.

DAY THREE (Sunday)
Hurricane Norma is going to spiral back into the Mexican Coast over the weekend, and will have her work cut out for herself, attempting to navigate the Chihuahua Desert. There will be an onshore flow as a result of the churning environment in the northern US and enhanced by Norma’s trek across northern Mexico, so our half day through east Texas is likely to be cloudy, with a few spots of drizzle possible, especially after we’ve arrived in Victoria.

Victoria, Texas