Canton, Ohio to Dubuque, Iowa

One day. One long day, and four states, those are the stats on this Midwestern trek. It will take a little over 9 hours, albeit those will be traffic slogged in Chicago, to cover 608 mles. How bad will traffic be? Google suggests an alternate route through Indianapolis that is less than an hour longer, but covers 72 more miles. The pace of our route is 66.4mph, which doesn’t seem daunting, but it does seem optimistic.

Canton, Ohio, via VisitCanton.com

Low pressure in the Great Lakes is bringing some northerly flow to the Northern Plains and cycling in batches of rain and isolated thunderstorms to most of our route. The low is shifting north and a little east, however, and by tomorrow, the Ohio and Indiana portions of our journey will be in the clear. A second volley of wet weather will cycle into the region late in the day tomorrow, and while most of the activity will be heavy clouds in northern Illinois, we should expect some rain in spits and starts between Chicago and the Quad Cities, with thinner clouds bout those same spots of rain between Davenport and Dubuque. Not much, but it will be there, probably when you are bringing luggage to your hotel.

By Dirk – originally posted to Flickr as Dubuque Iowa, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7121481

Redding, California to Montgomery, Alabama

Got a long trip from northern CA to the Deep South, covering 2,536 miles, which should take 5 days to cover.

DAY ONE

A broad ridge of high pressure is found over the Great Basin/Four Corners region, which is keeping most of the thunderstorm activity over the Sierras as well as the Rockies in the Four Corners region. Much of the day should be dry and fairly quiet as we travel southward from Redding along I-5 to Sacramento, then along Hwy 99 through much of the Central Valley past Fresno and Bakersfield. Late in the afternoon and evening we’ll cut across the Antelope Valley on 58 before ending our long day in Barstow.

DAY TWO

Going to be spending all day on I-40 as we head east out of Barstow and eventually make our way into northwestern AZ by midday. Some spotty thunderstorms are expected to get going over the mountains as we make our way towards Flagstaff, so by the evening hours some of this activity looks to roll off of them, which could give us a bit of a wet welcome heading past Winslow and Holbrook before ending our night in Gallup, NM.

DAY THREE

Slightly shorter day today, but still a hike across New Mexico as we continue our tour of I-40. However, storms are expected to flare up over the mountains in the central part of the state, so if we don’t get past them in time, we’ll be needing to turn on our wipers as we pass Albuquerque and eventually Santa Rosa. If we can get out ahead of the storms, it should be smooth sailing into Amarillo, TX, where we’ll end the night. Don’t be surprised if some late evening storms roll into town however, might keep us up a bit.

DAY FOUR

Our tour of I-40 comes to an end as we head southeast on 280 out of Amarillo towards Wichita Falls. Unfortunately a boundary settling across the Central Plains eastward is interacting with moisture coming up from the Gulf, and widespread showers and thunderstorms are expected to develop during the midday hours and persist well into the evening. Some thunderstorm activity could get potent as we pass by the Dallas-Fort Worth area, hopefully we’re able to dodge it as we continue onwards and end the long day in Shreveport, LA.

DAY FIVE

Looks like it will be another day of dodging showers and storms as low pressure shifts into the Mid-MS River Valley, increasing the chances of storms from AR/LA eastward into AL/GA as the day progresses. I don’t expect a washout, but you will have to keep an eye on the sky as we push through MS on I-20 past Jackson and eventually into Alabama before finally ending our trip in Montgomery.

El Centro, California to Lakeland, Florida

This is a drive I can get behind. It will be a 4 day drive along the southern tier of the US. The drive will cover 2331 miles, and we will cover ground at approximately 68.5mph, which is a decent clip. That decent clip also means a robust 548 miles traveled on days 1-3, with a long day in the southeast on day 4. they drive fast in Florida, so I bet we save some time.

El Centro, California

DAY ONE (Saturday)
For a drive in the southwest, our route will take us through a couple of pretty large areas, as we will encounter the sweltering Phoenix and moderately cooler Tucson on our way to New Mexico. Precipitation is not expected, and population will be minimal between the towns in question. The terrain in central New Mexico may aid in the development of a few showers and storms, but I think those will all remain east of where we will stop, exit 116 between Akela and Las Cruces.

DAY TWO (Sunday)
The dry line and the monsoon will be the two most identifiable features on our route on Sunday, but the late in the day develoment of these two features, and the lack of moisture available to them because of a batch of energy in the northeast means we will thread this needle without much threat for precipitation. We’ll make it to Kerrville, on the outskirts of San Antonio to finish the day.

DAY THREE (Monday)
The tail of a cold front will wrap around an advancing bubble of high pressure on Monday, and will touch off a few squirts of rain and isolated thunderstorms along the Texas/Louisiana border as we approach. It looks the wettest on the Louisiana side of the line, and the last couple of hours to Denham Springs, just east of Baton Rouge, bring a chance of a wet windshield.

DAY FOUR (Tuesday)
This isn’t something we see very often, especially this time of year, but high pressure is expected to settle into the southeastern US by early next week. Hot? Yes. Dry? Also yes, even in Lakeland. There might be a stray spritz left over in Denham Springs, but it should be good weather to enjoy the lakes of central Florida.

Lakeland, Florida

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to El Centro, California

This has been a challenging week. Tornadoes have now struck in several places, most famously in Jefferson City, Missouri and Dayton, Ohio. This 5 day trek, covering 2,585 miles will cover nearly all of the regions that were most heavily impacted. We’ll parcel this day into 530 mile segments, with a pace of 66mph. I thought it would be quicker given the surfeit of interstate we will cover, but safety first. hopefully the tornado threat is lessening as we traverse the central Plains.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

DAY ONE (Thursday)
Eastern Pennsylvania hasn’t been safe from the tornadoes either, with a twister northeast of Philadelphia last night. There is severe weather in the offing again today, however by tomorrow, when we start on our way westward, the system will finally be abating a bit. The rain won’t be any less, unfortunately, as the strong area of low pressure causing all this nastiness will occlude south into the Ohio Valley. Some rain, thunder and maybe another rogue severe (not as widespread!) thunderstorm will be possible through Pennsylvania in the morning. Rain will be heaviest on the western exposures of the Appalachians, but it will be tapering off through eastern Ohio. We should be dry by Columbus, and pleasantly cool in Huber Heights, a suburb of Dayton, though not as heavily damaged by the Memorial Day tornado. It will be our stop on Thursday night.

DAY TWO (Friday)
The weather is going to take a dramatic turn for the better on Friday. There might be a rogue thunderstorms, especially in the afternoon across Illinois, because we can’t just leave it well enough alone, but they will be garden variety, pop up storms on the back end of a broad spring cyclone. We’ll make it to Sarcoxie, Missouri in the southwest part of the state on a hot, humid afternoon.

DAY THREE (Saturday)
You might think that the drive from southwest Missouri, through Oklahoma and into the Texas Panhandle would bring the best chance for significant severe weather, and with the way things have gone lately, it would seem even more likely that you’d be right. By Saturday, though, the tail of the cold front that has caused so many problems will lie through Kansas, leaving us with some warmer, humid but dry conditions for the day. As the day turns to night, it looks like instability will take over and some terrific lightning producing, if not severe thunderstorms will pick up across the state. Not that this should bother us, we’ll be in the Texas Panhandle, spending the night in Pampa by the time things get going in the Sooner State.

DAY FOUR
We will likely see and hear some overnight convection associated with the dry line in the Texas Panhandle overnight, but it will also be associated with cooling aloft. That cooling is going to be gone when the sun rises, and after a short drive to the west, we will be on the dry side of the dry line anyways. The air will be clear in New Mexico, and it’s tough to find a good stopping point in northeast Arizona, but there is a travel center about 15 miles from Chambers that will suit us fine.

DAY FIVE
The most significant change we will be the elevation. The Petrified Forest is fairly high up there, and we will descend towards Phoenix, and then cut off towards El Centro. No significant weather is expected, but El Centro is pretty stinkin’ hot.

Imperial Valley, with El Centro at the bottom left

Phoenix, Arizona to Lima, Ohio

Anthony is on vacation, and I am in the process of moving, so our posting has become a admittedly sporadic. I’m here now, though, to take us through a lengthy spring trip, potentially through the teeth of some strong storms. IT will take us 3 1/2 days to cover 1873 miles, which means a surprisingly lackadaisical 66.9mph. We’ll net 535 miles on the first three days, with, well, about half that on Wednesday.

Phoenix, Arizona

DAY ONE (Sunday)
We don’t usually think about the Desert Southwest when considering the threat for showers, thunderstorms and cold fronts, but a feature will be sliding into the west coast this weekend with a pretty sizeable cold front moving towards central California. It will eventually bring some rain to northern Arizona, but it looks like we will be sneaking into New Mexico with plenty of time to spare. It should be a seasonably warm day, except in the high reaches of the Rockies between Phoenix and Santa Rosa, New Mexico, the day one destination.

DAY TWO (Monday)
Monday has caught the eye of the Storm Prediction Center already as a moderate risk day. In my eyes, this means that it will almost certainly translate to a high risk day, and the high risk will be right along our route, particularly in the western half of Oklahoma. We will see some showers potentially starting around Amarillo, with the severe threat starting around Shamrock, Texas. Storms will be most likely, as it appears right now, around Woodward and Watonga, north of our route, but we will be in the mix up to and through the Oklahoma City metro area. Tulsa doesn’t seem to be under the gun on Monday as much as other parts of the state, and we will call it a day in Claremore, hopefully able to rest easy as severe storms and tornadoes stay well to the west.

DAY THREE (Tuesday)
The storm system will sit and spin over the High Plains along the Colorado/Kansas border Monday until Tuesday, which will cause dry air to cycle in from the southwest, and rope out the cold front. It will stall over eastern Oklahoma and western Missouri. There may be some showers and thunderstorms as we get started, however we should be through them by the time we get past Springfield, Missouri. The activity is likely to get stronger as the day goes on, but our trek towards St. Louis and Illinois will be hot, humid and free of rain. We’ll make it to Terre Haute, Indiana before we finish things off on Wednesday.

DAY FOUR (Wednesday)
The cold front will get started again overnight Tuesday into Wednesday as the system spins north and loses it’s bearings. Showers and perhaps an embedded thunderstorm will be possible over Indiana and Ohio on Wednesday, but they won’t be nearly as intense as the storms we see on Tuesday.

Lima, Ohio

Racine, Wisconsin to Phoenix, Arizona

I think a nice trip down to the desert would suit the winter much better. Instead, it seems like someone in the Midwest wishing summer would arrive is getting too much too fast. The drive will take 3+ days, and cover 1771 miles. The drive will be surprisingly slow, at only a bit more than 65mph, which means the first two days will be through after 524.7 miles traveled. Chicago and some time off interstates will contribute o our delayed transit, but also provide a chance for more scenery.

Racine, Wisconsin

DAY ONE (Thursday)
All right, let’s go! Midwest driving is the best. Wide open spaces, but with enough towns so you can find a gas station, and won’t need to pee on the side of the road in case of emergency. There is a pretty small time cold front moving through the Upper Midwest, and it is more likely to touch off a few thunderstorms in Minnesota and northern Wisconsin tomorrow. There will be enough general instability in southern Wisconsin and Iowa that we will probably see quite a bit of puffy cumulus clouds during our day, but none that will give us any reason to turn on the wipers, We’ll turn south at Des Moines. and reach Lathrop, Missouri, northeast of Kansas City before the day’s end.

DAY TWO (Friday)
A menacing batch of low pressure will develop through the day in the Colorado plains on Friday. Ultimately, it won’t produce a lot of thunderstorm activity but the activity that is generated will almost be entirely supercellular, with large hail and tornadoes the primary concern. These low precipitation, high rotation type of super cells are a chasers dream, so don’t be surprised by traffic in western Kansas as we head for the Panhandles. Of course, that added traffic will also probably indicate very nasty weather near by. The dry line will set up east of Guymon, Oklahoma, and we will make it to Stratford, Texas, in the far northern Panhandle, safe from the threat of a tornado outbreak on Friday night.

DAY THREE (Saturday)
The thing about New Mexico and Arizona is that they are always (save for far eastern New Mexico) on the dry side of dry lines. Sun and heat are going to bear down on the lower lying terrain, while it will be a bit cooler in the higher elevations. Some light rain is possible up in Colorado, but by golly, we’re going to get to Phoenix hot, sunny and sweaty, just they way it’s supposed to be.

Phoenix, Arizona
By Alan StarkFlickr: Downtown Phoenix Skyline Lights, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link

Parkersburg, WV to Sandusky, OH

Today we embark on a quick little road trip, just 229 miles separate these 2 cities, and it’ll take barely longer than 1 viewing of Avengers: Endgame to get there. Don’t even need to pack snacks for this trip (but we will anyways)

As a frontal boundary sits over southern Michigan and slowly sags southward during the day, some scattered rain shower activity is expected over northern OH throughout the day. It’ll be a dry start to the trip travelling north from Parkersburg, but the closer we get to the lakefront, the more likely we’ll see a scattered shower or two across our route. Nothing particularly heavy is expected, just the weather being a little annoying.

Athens, Georgia to Corpus Christi, Texas

The only part of the Gulf Coast I’ve ever visited is in South Florida. this two day trek will sweep along the whole doggone thing. It’s a 1071 mile journey which will be paced at 68.5mph, despite travel through Atlanta and Houston’s sprawling suburbia. There will be a little bit more to day one, as we expect to cover 548 miles, leaving the rest for Wednesday.

Athens, Georgia

DAY ONE (Tuesday)
It’s not a sight we see too often from May to about October. There will be a solid area of high pressure camping in the region today and tomorrow. This is great because tomorrow, we are driving through the southeastern US! We’ll navigate Atlanta and Montgomery with no weather issues, making it to Robert, Louisiana on the northwest side of Lake Pontchartrain to finish off our day.

DAY TWO (Wednesday)
One of the busiest stretches of the Gulf Coast, weather-wise, is the patch between Houston and Lake Charles. Indeed again, we may see some storms starting to pop up in this area, particularly in the Beaumont area, but by the time we get through Houston, we should have nothing but sweltering highway ahead of us. A cold front is moving through north Texas, drawing that moisture in through Beaumont, but the relief will come much later to Corpus Christi.

Corpus Christi, Texas

Denver, Colorado to Athens, Georgia

We are about as close to mountains at the start and end of this trip as we can get, but yet we will only spend a quick moment in eastern Tennessee contending with elevation changes. We’ll maintain a pace of nearly 70mph as a result, and cover 553 miles per each of the first two days, but leave a little more than half a day to get through the high country on Monday. The Plains are getting active. Is any chasing in order?

Denver, Colorado

DAY ONE (Saturday)
It’s become so active across the country that some systems are becoming unable to find a full wealth of energy and really get going. so it will be on Saturday as we drive the vast expanses of Kansas. There will be a front snaking through Nebraska and western Kansas, but it won’t be doing much, except producing a few gentle rolling clouds, and maybe…. maaaaybe a dry thunderstorm or light rain shower. The bulk of the moisture is going to be in the southeast, unable to reach the front attached to a low moving along the Canadian border. It will get even more serene as the day continues, and our day will end in Lawrence.

DAY TWO (Sunday)
A cold front will be sagging towards eastern Kansas by Sunday morning, but this is the rare case where heating of the day will actually serve to stabilize the region, and we should leave Lawrence with showers diminishing to the west. Tentative high pressure will set up between this fading band of showers and the retreating area of rain and thudnerstorms in the southeast. As a result, we will bisect Missouri, clip Illinois and Kentucky and reach Clarksville, Tennessee without much of a threat of rain.

DAY THREE (Monday)
I’m not sure you could ask for a better day to drive through Tennessee than next Monday. Temperatures won’t swelter, and the sun will be out. We’ll snake into Athens with only a few clouds in the sky, temperatures comfortable and a few hours to spare left in the afternoon.

Athens, Georgia

Syracuse, New York to Tucson, Arizona

Today we embark on a 5-day, cross-country road trip that’ll cover 2,337 miles. That’s a lot of snacks we need to stock up on! Let’s get a move-on, not a moment to waste!

DAY ONE

An area of low pressure is shifting through far southern Quebec/New England, with a cold front trailing through NY/PA back to the OH Valley. There might be an isolated rain shower lingering in the Syracuse area at dawn, but most of this activity should be off to the northeast of the city as we depart on our westward journey. The day should be dry but cloudy to start, then clouds clear out as we pass Buffalo and follow the shores of Lake Erie to Cleveland. From there we turn southward and end our rather uneventful start to the trip in Columbus.

DAY TWO

An area of low pressure looks to shift into the OH Valley to start the day, bringing some rain shower activity to the Columbus area as we head westward. Conditions improve a bit as we make it to Indianapolis, but a second round of showers is possible as we move through IL towards St. Louis as the tail end of a cold front works in from the north. Heavier stuff should remain off to the south as another area of low pressure lifts northeastward from the Lower MS River Valley, but keep an eye out on some shower activity as we pass St. Louis and finish the day in Rolla, MO.

DAY THREE

A fairly quiet day is expected today as our leg is between systems. Some clouds may increase during the afternoon hours as we head out of southwestern MO past Joplin. Southwerly winds are expected to increase as low pressure begins to intensify in the foothills of CO/WY, but conditions will remain dry as we finish our relatively short day in Oklahoma City.

DAY FOUR

Low pressure speeds off to the north of our route today as it moves through NE to IL, while the tail end of a cold front sags into OK. Cloudy skies and perhaps a shower or two will greet our morning as we start heading towards Oklahoma City, but nothing particularly heavy is expected. Cloudy skies continue as we pass Amarillo but late afternoon/evening storms look to stay north of I-40 as we press onwards into New Mexico. Our day ends in Vaughn, NM.

DAY FIVE

A dry day is in store as we finish our lengthy trip. While low pressure gets situated over the Four Corners region, precip should stay well off to the north over central UT/CO. Gusty winds, particularly in mountain passes, could make for some interesting sections as we head west out of Las Cruces along I-10, but shouldn’t be too bad as we finally make it to Tucson!