Yuba City, California to Trenton, New Jersey

When I plugged this trip into Google Maps, it defaulted to buses and trains. If you don’t want to partake in a 5 day cross country journey, then I guess I can’t blame you. That’s what Google wants too. We’ll cover 2806 miles at a pace of 68.4mph, with an 8 hour daily goal of 547 miles. It’s a good old fashioned road trip, an we can make good time, but only if we leave now.

DAY ONE (Thursday)

Yuba City, California

It’s pretty wild to think about it, but our drive on Thursday will take us from Yuba City to Wendover, Utah, through the wasteland of northern Nevada, and the region is presently between two tropical storms. Hilary was swept north of the region last week, and now the remnants of Tropical Storm Howard are moving into the 4 Corners. I wouldn’t be entirely surprised to see some clouds on the eastern and southern horizon when we reach Wendover and the home of the Bonneville Raceway, but the drive will stay dry.

DAY TWO (Friday)
Howard is going to get hung up in the Rockies and lose his self among the seasonal monsoon. Wyoming will be rainier than one might expect, and we’ll dodge a few showers, maybe a rumble of thunder, as we trek through Wyoming on I-80. I would expect the heaviest rain will be west of Laramie, but we won’t get much further than the home of the University of Laramie, stopping west of Cheyenne at exit 348 as our day concludes.

DAY THREE (Saturday)
High pressure in Canada is going to start sinking south, squashing out any life that Howard had. This will mean any lingering moisture will spread west to east along a cold front that is going to mostly be stationary through Saturday. Rain will be most likely early in the day, but there will be a chance for clouds and some isolated showers throughout the day as we make it to Avoca, Iowa, which is East of Omaha. As is all of Iowa, but this is pretty close to Omaha.

DAY FOUR (Sunday)
All good things on Sunday! We’re going to finally start encountering some populated locations, including Chicago, but we’ll do it on the weekend, and one with good weather conditions at that. We’ll see a lot of sun, maybe a little bit of smoke in the atmosphere from the Canadian wildfires, but other than that, hakuna matata. We’ll reach Howe, Indiana for our destination for the day.

DAY FIVE (Monday)
By the time Monday rolls around, all weather eyes will likely be out to see, where Franklin will be spinning between Bermuda and the Carolinas. The tail of the cold front we have been talking about will be working to kick Franklin to the sea, but for our own selfish purposes, it will be allowing dry conditions to enter Ohio and Pennsylvania as were traverse those two states to get to New Jersey.

Trenton, New Jersey

Louisville, Kentucky to Cumberland, Maryland

All right, let’s take a trip! It’s only going to be a 7 hour trip through the mountains of eastern Kentucky and West Virginia between our two end points on this Sunday journey. I can definitely say that these 472 miles would have been a lot more interesting today or yesterday, but alas, we try to avoid thunderstorms when driving.

Louisville, Kentucky

Low pressure has really figured itself out in the Gulf Stream, and the cold front associated with it left a healthy stripe of wind damage reports from the Delmarva to the Smokey Mountains. Already today, the heaviest weather has remained south of our route, and northerly flow will remain in place on Sunday over the area surrounding West Virginia. The feature is strong enough, and the atmosphere is rich enough that there might be a few stray showers riding those north winds as we head towards western Maryland, but the most pleasant weather the region has seen in a while with only passing clouds will define the majority of the day.

Cumberland, Maryland

Harrisonburg, Virginia to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

It’s time to take the first road trip in Victoria-Weather’s post Twitter era. Naturally, we should try to get to the center of the professional meteorology universe in Oklahoma City. We’ll take two days to cut through this tract of the country, which will cover 1212 miles. There is some mountaineering involved on this trip, but we’ll still manage a 68.3mph pace, which isn’t bad! We’re going to call it a night after 546 miles on day one, leaving a bit more work for day 2.

DAY ONE (Wednesday)

Harrisonburg, Virginia

High pressure has finally arrived to New England to help dry the area out a little bit. On the southern flank of this ridge, however, showers and storms were still active. That seems to be the trend for the day tomorrow as well. The threat for showers and maybe even an isolated embedded thunderstorm will be best in the morning, and in the terrain along the Virginia-Tennessee border. Things should stabilize later in the day, and we’ll make our way to the west side of Nashville to conclude out day.

DAY TWO (Thursday)
A weak area of low pressure will be moving through the Upper Midwest towards the Great Lakes Wednesday into Thursday, and will drag a sweeping cold front into the Tennessee Valley. There may be a lingering shower as we leave Nashville, but after that, we will be able to reap the pleasures that summer has to offer us. Driving through Arkansas is a much more scenic trip than you might expect, so appreciate that, and keep the AC on for our arrival in OKC.

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Charlotte, North Carolina to Allentown, Pennsylvania

Charlotte and Allentown are definitely Eastern cities, but they have the good fortune of not being along the Coast. This means that our route can take I-81, which is windier, hillier and otherwise more scenic, while also avoiding the traffic of I-95. It will take a day to get from North Carolina to our destination in Pennsylvania, at a pace of 66.4mph.

Charlotte, North Carolina

There are a few clouds streaming across the Coastal Plains as low pressure churns off the coast of New England. The low will drift to Nova Scotia, while breezier and relatively cool air continues to press south. The flow will be coming up an over the Appalachians, so relative to the conditions throughout the rest of Vieginia, expect clearer skies. As we pass west of Baltimore, we will get north of the front, which will shear away the remaining threat of wet weather. Allentown will be delightful and awaits our arrival.

Allentown, Pennsylvania

Birmingham, Alabama to Pine Bluff, Arkansas

The historic snow in the northern United States this winter is leading to some significant flooding impacts, starting in Minnesota, but probably working downriver. Our route, less than a day between Alabama and Arkansas, covering 361 miles, cross the mighty Mississippi at Helena, Arkansas, where the River is already pretty wide, and the bridge is tall. Hopefully, that means the only worries we end up having are with the ongoing weather impacts, rather than the impacts of precipitation many months ago. We’ll pass by the Mississippi Valley at a meandering 60mph pace, which at this rate, might take us a full 15 minutes to drive over the bridge.

Birmingham, Alabama

If you find yourself living in any part of the United States’ contiguous states, you are probably experiencing or will soon experience, below normal temperatures. If not, you are probably on the West Coast, and this blog is probably not the first click in your morning surf. But the below normal weather in the east is the result of a stout area of high pressure extending from Canada all the way into the American Southeast. This will keep the drive through Alabama and Mississippi pretty tranquil. An area of low pressure is going to start emerging tonight and tomorrow in the Southern Plains and start to feast on moisture banked in Texas. A weak warm front will start sneaking north in Arkansas which could bring some late puffy cloudy to the Pine Bluff area. They aren’t likely to bring rain before our drive is over, but expect a wet middle to the week in Pine Bluff.

Pine Bluff, Arkansas

Michigan City, Indiana to Fond du Lac, Wisconsin

We’re going to start the week with what should be a pretty quick jaunt. It won’t be, because we will be navigating the Chicagoland region, but it definitely SHOULD be. The drive will be nearly 3 1/2 hours, at a glacial pace of 63mph.

Michigan City, Indiana

A weak little wave is moving through the Great Lakes this evening, and it will generally be in the central and eastern Great Lakes before the drive begins on Monday. I don’t think there will be much in the way of flurry activity south of Lake Michigan, though it can’t be ruled out, especially in Michigan City and Laporte. I would expect some dryer skies through Chicago proper, but as we approach Waukegon and north through Milwaukee, I would expect flurries to pick up again. This weak little feature is wrapping in a considerable amount of light snow that just doesn’t want to cut out, so I have to believe it will still be snowing in Fond du Lac when we arrive. Nothing accumulating, but it will be happening.

Fond du Lac, Wisconsin

Logan, Utah to Greensboro, North Carolina

Boy, we know when to pick these cross country trips. This trip, into the teeth of one of the most significant storms for the Upper Midwest in decades, will last 4 days in ideal conditions, though these will be less than ideal. It’s 2065 miles between the systems, and right now is prognosticated to have a pace of 66.6mph, which will lead to a perhaps aspirational 533 miles a day. Day 4 will be a hair shorter than the rest, but they are all going to feel long, I reckon.

DAY ONE (Tuesday)

Logan, Utah

The entirety of our route on Tuesday will be in a at least a winter storm warning, while some stretches of southern Wyoming are in a blizzard warning. I think the heaviest snow will be in Montana tomorrow, though we will be seeing snow around Logan as we set forth. Wind will be on the increase throughout the day, but we will probably be dry from time to time from Kemmerer to Rock Springs, then even more sparsely through the remainder of the state of Wyoming. Assuming we keep our pace, we will be just ahead of the worst of the snow, but any flurries we see will be wind driven and challenging. The day will end in Sidney, in the Nebraska Panhandle. Batten down the hatches, it is going to be a long night.

DAY TWO (Wednesday)
This is definitely our most imagination driven day. The heavier snow is going to sink south into Nebraska, along with a cold frontal wind, and it is not out of the question that blizzard conditions will grip most of I-80 in Nebraska. If that’s the case, then the road might simply be closed. The nasty parts of the storm will be cut off by a dry slot nosing north into the Omaha and Nebraska City regions, and we might even get some dry air after we leave the freeway in Lincoln. Expect to see drier condition as we head south, west of a cold front that will, by this point, have advanced into Iowa and Missouri. We will end the day in Kansas City, and be extremely grateful for it.

DAY THREE (Thursday)
The nasty storm is going to focus it’s wrath to our north by Thursday, which is good news for our travels, bad news for the Great Lakes. South winds will be rushing north to meet that area of low pressure, and especially east of St. Louis, we will need both hands on the steering wheel, as if they haven’t been white knuckling the whole way already. We’ll make it to Simpsonville, east of Louisville, by the end of this day.

DAY FOUR (Friday)
Low pressure will be moving vaguely poleward by the end of the week, and this is a relief for us. Dry skies will continue on the way to Greensboro, though a little band of light rain will develop eventually to our south and west, and that wind that will buffet us on Thursday will also be a memory. The arrival in Greensboro will come after 4 long days of driving, and will be quite a relief.

Greensboro, North Carolina

Lawrence, Kansas to Indianapolis, Indiana

The middle and southern part of the country has been battered of late, but at least we are moving to a calmer stretch. Holy smokes is it going to be cold, though. We’ll take 1 day to march across this icy terrain, from Lawrence to Indianapolis, covering 521 miles at a pace of 67mph. Even St. Louis can’t slow us down.

Lawrence, Kansas
Campus skyline #1-7: from JRP rooftop #8-34: sunrise, from Coop Elevator on Haskell Ave. 10-25-05 Credit: Doug Koch/KU University Relations # 06200_1 through _34

Cold air has built in behind a stormy, snowy system that moved through this week. There is some high pressure to the south, which is doing a good job of stifling moisture which is trying to reach a Clipper moving through the Canadian Prairies, and will head for the western Great Lakes as we get moving. I don’t trust Clippers moving through the cold to stay bound by where the models say it will snow. There isn’t much precipitable water with these, and the flakes fly even if there is no real moisture available. To that end, I suspect the last stretch, from the Illinois side of the Mississippi all the way to Indianapolis will feature some flakes. The steadier activity will be in Indy on our arrival.

Indianapolis, Indiana

Decatur, Illinois to Bowling Green, Kentucky

You… you want to go for a drive? Tomorrow, in the Ohio Valley? Good luck with all that. If you insist on taking this trip it will cover 287 miles and in good conditions, would take a little over 5 hours. These will not be good conditions. The pace would be set at about 55mph, but it will be slower driving tomorrow through this part of the country. I can’t recommend in stronger terms that you do not actually make this drive tomorrow.

Decatur, Illinois

We’re watching a massive storm, with blizzard implications in the northern US charging towards the Great Lakes. The system will look like a typical summer time system, and the cold front will charge into Decatur shortly after noon. We’ll already be about to Effingham when it arrives, and this snow will arrive with some intensity. Snow totals will be lighter because there are warmer temperatures than further to the north, but winds will be very strong. There could be a little bit of rain before we see clear skies again, think around Evansville, with dry conditions returning in Kntucky. While in Bowling Green, though, all hell will again break loose, so hunker down.

Bowling Green, Kentucky

Lakeland, Florida to Racine, Wisconsin

Another trip home for the holidays. Lakeland is a new enough town that there aren’t likely to be many people FROM Lakeland, so this trip rationale seems right to me. It’s a 1,248 mile journey that will last two days, including a particularly long day on Wednesday to finish things off. Expect a pace of 66.4mph and a Tuesday covering 531.2 miles.

DAY ONE (Tuesday)

Lakeland, Florida

High pressure is taking care of the southeastern United States, and really, most of the rest of the country as well. Everything, except, ironically, the Sunshine State. A baroclinic flow is streaming across the Peninsula, and scattered showers and probably some embedded thunderstorms are going to be possible until Gainesville, with isolated spots of precipitation as far north as Macon. Fortunately, the drive through Atlanta will be nice and dry. We’ll get into Dalton, just south of Chattanooga, for the night.

DAY TWO (Tuesday)
There will be a bit of a return flow through the middle of the country, which will bring temperature and humidity up a little bit. It won’t be an exquisitely sunny day but the whole way to Racine will be dry and pretty easy to navigate. You might even enjoy a trip to the lakeshore after reaching Racine.

Racine, Wisconsin