Santa Rosa, California to Wenatchee, Washington

It’s not often we spent a road trip on the west coast, but that’s the plan for this journey. It will take a day and a half to get from the North Bay to western Washington. We’ll cover 798 miles at a pace of only 57.3mph, thanks to most of our drive being spent off of the main freeways, as well as through some rebuilding areas after this year’s wildfires. Enjoy the lackadaisical pace.

DAY ONE (Thursday)

Santa Rosa, California By JLankford – wikitravel, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=37654846

While you may not recognize it in northern California, where fires are still burning, particularly northeast of Santa Rosa, and further north in the Mendocino National Forest, but it is a time of rainy change in the Pacific Northwest. Northern California will be all too dry and haze tinged as we travel north along I-5, but north of Klamath Falls on US-97, we will start to see a change. First, some clouds will stream overhead, and then around Crater Lake, the northeast chilly wind will pick up. Models suggest a dry drive tomorrow afternoon, but make no mistake. We’re crossing a cold front in Oregon tomorrow. We will stop in the resort community of Sunriver, south of Bend, at the end of the day.

DAY TWO (Friday)
The next round of wet weather to barrel into Washington is coming in the morning on Friday. It will particularly impact Puget Sound and eastern Washington near Spokane, mostly sparing the Yakima Valley. Don’t count on that lasting all day, though. Just because there won’t be as much rain or snow doesn’t mean there won’t be any. Precipitation will mostly be rain from Yakima northward, but some snow may mix in around Ellensburg, and again as we approach Wenatchee.

Wenatchee, Washington

Atlanta, Georgia to Olympia, Washington

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)

Atlanta, Georgia

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.

Olympia, Washington

Terre Haute, Indiana, to Atlanta, Georgia

We’re driving southward today, trying to get to Atlanta before Hurricane Delta finds the coast. We should be able to do it, as our drive will only last a day and cover 505 miles, doing so at a pace of a little over 62mph. Try to limit stops and use hand sanitizer!

Terre Haute, Indiana

Delta hit the Yucatan this morning and is spilling into the Gulf tonight. It pulsed down before it hit Cancun, and will be weakened when it arrives in the Gulf. Still, it’s previous intensity, and further ramping up will entrap nearby atmospheric moisture, and while the eastern US is under high pressure, the sea breezes will be turned off too. The entire drive from Terre Haute to Atlanta will be under mostly clear skies, with seasonable warmth.

Atlanta, Georgia

Michigan City, Indiana to Bellingham, Washington

It’s autumn, and it ure feels that way east of the Rockies, even if that’s not the case along the west coast. We’ll take a 4 day run to Puget Sound, which will cover 2182 miles. There is a lot of interstate contained on this route, even if we are covering some high terrain, so the pace will be about 68.2 mph, good for 545 miles a day.

DAY ONE (Thursday)

Michigan City, Indiana

One of the factors in the Upper Midwest being cooler than normal is the presence of deep low pressure over Labrador, which is swinging more cold air and troughing into the area. It will clear up today in Michigan City, but more drizzle and clouds will emerge by tomorrow morning, and will be the situation through most of our Thursday drive. Some drips and drops will spatter our windshield through Chicago, Milwaukee and Madison, and probably won’t truly clear up until after we pass through LaCrosse. We’ll make it to Lakefield, Minnesota before we pull off for the night.

DAY TWO (Friday)
High pressure is entrenched west of that deep area of low pressure. There might be a few high streaking clouds over the western Dakotas, but I would hard pressed to believe they will touch the ground. We’ll traverse South Dakota and clip northeastern Wyoming before we stop in Boyes, Montana, a ghost town in the southeastern corner of the state. It’s going to start warming up by the end of the day.

DAY THREE (Saturday)
The entirety of our day will be spent in the windswept prairies of eastern Montana, and the peaks of western Montana that will be significantly less windswept, and definitely not as cool as you might hope. We’ll make it to Wye, on the northwest side of Missoula, and call it a night.

DAY FOUR (Sunday)
The best news for our Sunday drive is that the threat for wildfires in the Pacific Northwest has significantly lessened. It will be dry and unseasonably warm in the interior west, before it gets a bit more comfortably as we head north from Seattle into Bellingham.

By Nick Kelly / Faithlife Corporation – Faithlife Corporation, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=37611512

Cumberland, Maryland to Durham, North Carolina

After so many lengthy road trips lately, here is a refreshing change. This trip will take the better part of day, about 6 hours, and cover 385 miles. We will pass through the DC Metro and start our day in the mountains, so our pace of 66.5mph is actually pretty good.

Cumberland, Maryland

The mid-Atlantic is at the mercy of a pair of systems that are about a thousand miles apart. The first is a developing area of low pressure off the coast of Chesapeake Bay, and the second is wafting through Hudson Bay. The Hudson Bay feature is dragging a pretty effective cold front, given its length, through the Great Lakes and will press towards the Appalachians by tomorrow afternoon. It won’t be particularly active though, given the offshore feature’s presence, but it will be come increasingly cloudy as it departs. The initial part of the route through DC will be mostly cloudy, with some light rain to South Hill, Virginia, which will become more likely from there to Durham.

Durham, North Carolina

Napa, California to Cumberland, Maryland

Look at this, two days in a row with posts! This time, we get to look forward to another week long road trip, this time headed eastward. It will take 5 days and 2648 miles to get from Napa to Cumberland. The trip this time will be divided evenly into our 8 hour segments, each at a 66.2mph and 529.6 miles a day. Some people just like symmetry.

DAY ONE (Wednesday)

Napa, California

The tropical Pacific doesn’t really impact the western US like the tropical Atlantic does, but there is a tropical feature, hurricane Elida drifting around out there. In truth, that’s the most interesting thing going on out there, as our drive from Napa to Wells, Nevada will be without incident.

DAY TWO (Thursday)
I’m wary of guidance that shuts off the monsoon after it’s been going on for a while, which is what the models are showing right now. Whether I believe it or not, I think our route along I-80 during the day time will take us through the rest of Nevada and all of Utah without encountering a storm, before we arrive in Woodedge, Wyoming, which i about a half hour west of Laramie.

DAY THREE (Friday)
Low pressure is going to be rising through Canada, drawing north a batch of hot humid air. This will mean a few thunderstorms developing in the high plains ahead of a cold front that will be moving towards the Upper Midwest. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are a few severe storms in and around Lincoln when we pull in for the night. Before that, though, it will be a mostly sunny, hopefully air conditioned day on the road in Nebraska,

DAY FOUR (Saturday)
The derecho that blew through he Midwest yesterday followed I-80 from Des Moines to northern Indiana, not unlike our route on Saturday. Don’t be surprised to see some sheered warehouse roofs and freshly sawed stumps wherever we end up along that stretch. An area of low pressure developing in the Carolinas will do a good job of disrupting moisture flow to the Upper Midwest, so the cold front that will be in Minnesota on Friday won’t really be much of a concern. There may be a few clouds with some spots of rain, but nothing too well organized around the Quad Cities. We’ll stop for the night in Lake Station in northwest Illinois.

DAY FIVE (Sunday)
That area of low pressure in the mid-Atlantic isn’t forecast to move anywhere this weekend. It seems as though moisture won’t filter west over the entirety of the Appalachians, but low level moisture and some patchy showers seem fairly likely as soon as we cross the Ohio River, but mostly cloudy skies are probably be fore that. This will be the worst drive of any through our trip, but at least we will be arriving in Cumberland!

Cumberland, Maryland

Lewiston, Maine to Napa, California

Road tripping is sort of en vogue right now, given the potential of coronavirus transmission with air travel, so why not see the country in a week long transnational road trip? It will take us 6 days to get from coast to coast, covering 3200 miles. We’ll average 68mph and nearly 545 miles a day. Right through the center of the country!

DAY ONE (Friday)

Lewiston, Maine

Isaias has long departed the Eastern Seaboard, but the remainder of a weak surface trough still lingers in the mid-Atlantic,and is continuing to threaten the area with showers and storms from Long Island to Florida. Inland, those storms are filtering towards the mountains, beginning to rise up with the elevation and raining out at higher terrain. For our purposes, that means a threat of rain as we approach the Catskills. The threat for isolated rain and thunder will linger until about Oneida, with clearing skies returning until we arrive at Batavia, between Buffalo and Rochester, and our destination for the day.

DAY TWO (Saturday)
On the other side of the Appalachians, life is good. High pressure has taken care of the Great Lakes and is doing a good job of suppressing Gulf moisture and shunting systems from the Plains to the north. Not a bad day to drive through Ohio. We’ll end in Hammond, Indiana, in the Chicago region.

DAY THREE (Sunday)
As we move west, the ridge will shift east, opening the Mississippi Valley up to the Gulf’s moisture. The Sunday drive will be soupy. Scattered spots of drizzle might be possible with the rising warm air in Illinois, but it should clear out through Iowa. Unfortunately, the sunny skies and humidity will only be priming the region for strong thunderstorms, of which a few might arrive in eastern Nebraska just as we are passing through Omaha and Lincoln. Severe weather is a strong possibility as we pull off the highway in Milford, just west of Lincoln.

DAY FOUR (Monday)
After a stormy evening in Nebraska, it should improve dramatically as we cross the windswept prairie of Nebraska and enter the windswept hills of Wyoming. Some monsoon thunderstorms may be seen on the horizon over the peaks in Colorado, but our route should be dry. We will end near Walcott, but most of southern Wyoming is all the same, so who knows!

DAY FIVE (Tuesday)
There isn’t going to be too much difference on Tuesday. Generally, the drive will be just fine, but in slopes, there could be a stray thunderstorm associated with the seasonal monsoon. It shouldn’t be an enormous concern, with the largest issue being dust from downdrafts in dry storms west of Salt Lake City. Our day will conclude in Elko, which, yes, does have some casinos. No, you probably shouldn’t go, what with the pandemic and all.

DAY SIX (Wednesday)
The monsoon doesn’t really reach as far west as the Sierras, and we should get on the road before we have to deal with the afternoon storms around Elko. Smooth sailing into Napa, then. Heck, we even get to approach from Sacramento, which is a heck of a lot easier than coming from San Francisco.

Napa, California

Gadsden, Alabama to Reno, Nevada

Hey gang, we’re almost at the weekend! At Victoria-Weather, we are planning on kicking things off with a 4 day trip out to Reno. We’ll cover 2,337 miles at a pace of 68.7 windswept miles per hour. The last day, which is often the case for us, will be a longer day, with about 550 miles passing by on the first three days. Road travel and camping are the way to live in this age, and perhaps this journey will provide just that opportunity.

DAY ONE (Saturday)

Gadsden, Alabama

Hey! Who is that in the Gulf of Mexico? Why, it’s Tropical Storm Hanna, already the 8th storm of the season, ready to soak south Texas. What that means for our journey is a reduction in the instability that filters north to our route from Gadsden to Blue Springs Missouri, the Kansas City suburb we intend to rest our heads. Instead of the threat for area showers and storms after noon throughout the day, I think that if we can make it past Hopkinsville, Kentucky by 1pm, we might be storm free all day. Hey, and Kansas City has a lot of spots to stop, including campgrounds. All around a pretty good day.

DAY TWO (Sunday)
A cold front is going to move through the high Plains and Upper Midwest this weekend, and again, Hanna is going to play havoc with the storms’ intentions. Instead of heavy soaking rains, there will only be a few shpwers and storms on Saturday, but as Hanna deteriorates on land, the moisture will return to Nebraska and Iowa. Expect the best chance for thunderstorms to come around Lincoln, but with chances for more activity as far west as North Platte. We’ll reach Sidney, which is an oasis in the Nebraska Panhandle, and call it an ight.

DAY THREE (Monday)
The summer monsoon is something of a moving target. Like, literally, the target moves every day, and truly, guidance isn’t a whole lot of help. Depending on your flavor of choice, you might get some storms in Nevada, or they might show up in Utah. Let’s plan for the worst and hope for the best. It should be dry through Wyoming, at least, even if we see a stray storm in Utah, where we will stop in Magna, on the west side of Salt Lake City.

DAY FOUR (Tuesday)
The way it looks, our long drive on Tuesday will mostly be in the clear, though as the time hits the afternoon, there could be an isolated storm around Elko or Winnemucca. IT would be short lived, however, and we would almost certainly be in good shape when Reno comes to pass. It will be plenty hot though.

Reno, Nevada

Greenville, North Carolina to Fayetteville, North Carolina

It’s not a long trip from these two towns in eastern North Carolina. This trip of less than 2 hours will merely be a leisurely Sunday drive (assuming the weather cooperates). We will cover 110 miles at an almost 63mph pace, and be in Fayetteville by lunch time. Let’s see what will happen.

Greenville, North Carolina

The tail of a continually weakening trough is bringing some showers and thunderstorms to the Tarheel state today, but guidance suggests the activity will be significantly weaker tomorrow morning thanks both to the fact that that trough IS weakening, and that we will be going in the morning, when the heat of the day will be absent. Indeed, this will be a leisurely drive! Stop for ice cream on the way, you have my permission.

Fayetteille, North Carolina

Kennewick, Washington to Greenville, North Carolina

Are you ready for a lengthy trek cross country? We are heading from the northwesternmost state in the land to the eastern part of North Carolina, and will take us 5 days to make that trip. This is the perfect summer road trip, if you ask me. The mileage will hit 2810 miles, for a pace of about 67mph, with the first 4 days ending after about 535 miles, with a 10 hour day coming on Sunday. Let’s get to North Carolina by the end of the weekend, shall we?

DAY ONE (Wednesday)

Kennewick, Washington

Sometimes, in the eastern-US focused weather community, we forget that in the summer, that constant thunderstorm threat we are used to just doesn’t exist for a big part of the early summer. Such is the case this week in the Pacific Northwest. Quiet weather will allow us to take in the scenery from Washington, through Oregon and Idaho until we reach Howell, in the Utah panhandle.

DAY TWO (Thursday)
The seasonal monsoon is preparing to develop in the southern Rockies, and indeed some guidance is pointing towards thunderstorms in the Colorado Rockies. Fortunately, we will not be traversing the Colorado Rockies, instead passing through Wyoming before ending up in Bushnell, in far western Nebraska. Rain is not expected to obscure our day.

DAY THREE (Friday)
Nebraska us a long, arduous state to pass through by car, but if you like driving and identifiable benchmarks, then Nebraska is for you. We’re headed off the road for Nebraska City, then south through Iowa and Missouri, where we will stop in St. Joseph. Nebraska is going to be in fine shape. Lingering humidity will likely lead to morning fog, that I would hope will burn off by the time we reach St. Joseph.

DAY FOUR (Saturday)
A slow moving, lingering trough extending into the Ohio Valley will make things a bit drearier on Saturday. By the time we reach southern Illinois, clouds with a stray sprinkle will become increasingly likely, with a rogue stroke of lightning not out of the questions. This will continue eastward, as we call it a day in Carefree, Indiana, which is west of Louisville.

DAY FIVE (Sunday)
It’s just the time of year, but more wet weather will be possible on either side of the Appalachian range, but with low pressure developing in the Great Lakes, the better chance for rain or even a rogue thunderstorm will come up in eastern Kentucky and before we reach Charleston in West Virginia. There will be a healthy rain shadow in North Carolina, but we are headed far enough east, some oceanic flow will lead to isolated storms along the coast, including in Greenville, as we arrive, exhausted, at the end of our long day, at the end of our long trip.

Greenville, North Carolina