Category Archives: Road Trip

Monroe, Louisiana to Boulder, Colorado

We embark on a 2-day, 1,103-mile trip from the rural lands of northern Louisiana to right up again the Rocky Mountains. Will be quite the change of scenery from one day to the next, so let’s see what the weather will be like on this excursion!

DAY ONE

As a system works into the Mid-MS River Valley, scattered showers and thunderstorms are expected from IA down into AR. Luckily, we’ll just be greeted with some morning clouds as we depart Monroe as the morning precip stays off to the north. Activity will continue lingering off to the north as we push into northern Texas, with just partly cloudy skies anticipated as we cruise past the Dallas-Fort Worth area in the midday hours and Wichita Falls in the late afternoon. We end our fairly uneventful day in Childress, TX.

DAY TWO

It’s going to be a bit of a long day, but the scenery will be worth it once we make it to the end! While the region looks to be dry at dawn, there could be an isolated shower or two lingering in the area due to overnight activity festering over Oklahoma. Whatever there is should be short-lived and eventually shift towards the northeast as we head towards Amarillo to start the day. Dry weather continues into the midday hours as we push into far northeastern New Mexico and eventually into southern Colorado on I-25 by the afternoon. As the afternoon progresses, shower and thunderstorm activity looks to pop off over the mountains and make their way eastward. The further north we get before activity develops, the better it will be for us to avoid encountering these storms, but we’ll probably see a couple of them regardless into the evening. With the worst of the storms off to the south, we make our way into Boulder to finish our long day!

Ann Arbor, Michigan to Tulsa, Oklahoma

Michigan to Oklahoma doesn’t seem quite as long a journey as some of our treks have been, but this will still cost us a day and a half to navigate the heart of the Mississippi Valley. We have 902 miles to cover, which we will do at a pace of 68mph, despite a slog through Chicago. We will thus cover 545 miles of our journey on Saturday, leaving that last meat on the bone for Sunday.

DAY ONE (Saturday)

An area of low pressure in the Mid-Atlantic is bringing all sorts of showers and embedded thunderstorms from the Upper Ohio Valley east towards southern New England. Of course, this is south of our route, but the circulation associated with this feature will sneak a bit of moisture back over the Great Lakes. A small perturbation over southern Lake Michigan will kick up a few clouds and maybe a stray shower in the Chicago region in the afternoon. We will likely make it through there by the time showers pick up, but surely, there will be some mostly cloudy skies in the Land of Lincoln regardless of whether or not we see sprinkles. Our Saturday drive will take us to Gray Summitt, Missouri, just west of St. Louis.

DAY TWO (Sunday)
An upper level trough over the southern Plains is going to churn up some southerly flow, destabilizing the atmosphere across Oklahoma. Storms will probably be erupting fairly early in the afternoon, anywhere over our last couple of hours of driving, between Springfield and Tulsa. Most of it will be rain, but don’t be surprised by an embedded thunderstorm, either.

Missoula, Montana to Sherman, Texas

I know we didn’t spend a whole lot of time in Missoula, but now, it’s time to check out and make our way down towards Texas. This is going to be a shorter trip, covering 1729 miles and lasting 3 days, with the third day lasting a bit longer than the first two. Per hour, we will cover 69 miles, which means the first days will be complete after 553 miles. Speed limits are mere suggestions in High Plains.

DAY ONE (Thursday)

We’re driving from Montana through Wyoming, but the weather attention on Thursday will be directed at the Northwest Territories. Low pressure near Yellowknife will hook up with a developing surface trough over the Rockies and begin dragging it eastward. This will open up the monsoon into the Wyoming Rockies, and will exasperate the threat for wildfires in Montana, with hot dry air being drawn north from the Plains. Hopefully, we can steer clear of any infernos, but that’s out of our control. Day One will end in Kaycee, Wyoming, north of Casper.

DAY TWO (Friday)
The trough over the Rockies will shift into the High Plains through the day on Friday. This will help destabilize eastern Colorado, and as we pass through the region, there might be some isolated strong thunderstorms between Denver and the Kansas border. Hot, sunny skies will likely follow as we reach Kansas, but the thunderstorms will follow us to Baxter, Kansas, as we sleep off a long day of travel.

DAY THREE (Saturday)
All of that convection is going to drift northeast with the Rocky Mountain low, which is passing into the Upper Midwest. High pressure with a dry south wind will sweep the prairies, and we should have no problem getting though Kansas and Oklahoma, right on in to Sherman.

Valdosta, Georgia to Missoula, Montana

We’re going to be running  across the country for the rest of the week and right up into the weekend. We’ll be taking a 4 day trip, taking on 2390 miles, though the last day of the drive will be extra long. We’ll be working at a pace of about 68mph, covering 546 miles on the first three travel days, finishing it off on a very long Sunday. The kids are back in school soon, so let’s enjoy the time on the rod while we can.

 

DAY ONE (Thursday)

I’ve been looking forward to firing up one of these bad boys for a very long time, so here we are. Of course, the first impression of this journey will say “hey, maybe we should turn around and stay in Georgia.” A weakish area of low pressure is going to be translating through the Great Lakes and turning northeast to the Canadian Maritimes. For our purposes, that will mean a plume of moisture draped across the southeast. Bands of rain and thunderstorms will batter Georgia and keep Chattanooga damp for at least the time we are travelling through those regions. Life will improve by the time we hit Monteagle, Tennessee, with clearing, crisper skies continuing through Nashville, with the sun peeking through when we arrive in Cadiz, Kentucky, our destination for night one.

DAY TWO (Friday)
As we head both westward and towards the weekend, life will be greatly improved. High pressure is struggling to backfill behind that wide ranging area of precipitation on the East Coast. A weak boundary moving through the Upper Midwest will try to press into Missouri, but it will be absent the necessary moisture to help fuel showers and storms. We might see some cumulus near Columbia, Missouri, but it’s more likely that we skate through Friday completely dry before arriving in Amazonia, north of Kansas City. Sounds exotic.

DAY THREE (Saturday)
The north-south leg of our journey will mean a need to focus on weather moving west to east, and for the most part, there won’t be any. Expect a dry day, heading north on I-29 towards Sioux Falls, with only a few clouds north of Omaha. A trough will be elongating from the central Rockies towards the northern Canadian Prairies, and by the time we get to Sioux Falls, there will be some rumbles of thunder in southeastern South Dakota.. We should be clear of the really heavy stuff by the time we reach Mitchell, but fog and clouds will fill back in through Kadoka over night. Kadoka, by the way, is where we are stopping on Saturday evening.

DAY FOUR
Low pressure will begin to spiral up again in the Rockies, recycling moisture into western South Dakota. A dreary start to the day and to our drive will turn right around before we get to Billings. Around Crow Agency, we’ll say, the skies will clear and we’ll leave the rain in the Black Hills and head west through Montana, unencumbered by showers or thunderstorms. Expect wonderful weather by the time we reach Missoula.

Jonesboro, Arkansas to Athens, Georgia

As a Midwesterner, I love driving through the southeast. The weather is warmer, the drivers are faster and the roadside attractions are different. This one day trek seems fairly ordinary at first glance, but I can tell you that I would enjoy it. We’ll move through our route at a clip of 61.9mph, but I bet you we could go faster because slow drivers will stay in the right lane!


The weather in the southeastern US has been quite stormy over the last several days, and while that is going to continue tomorrow as we drive through Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia, it will be considerably less active. High pressure is going to shift further to the east, opening up the back end and the Plains for showers and storms. This means that our best threat for rain and thunderstorms will be in northern Mississippi early Iin the day, but by the time we pass Hamilton, MS, the threat for persistent, heavy storms will have been lessened. In fact, I would say that after we have passed through Atlanta, the threat for showers and storms will be virtually nonexistent. Hotter than the dickens, though.

Lexington, Kentucky to Lansing, Michigan

All right, gang, let’s talk about a road trip. This time, we’re going to head from Kentucky to Michigan, which is only the length of Indiana apart (or Ohio, depending on your travel pleasure). The cities in question, Lexington and Lansing are only about 6 hours apart, so long as we take that Ohio route since Lexington is in eastern Kentucky. The mileage is 397mi, so our rate of speed will be nearly 68 miles per hour, which only leads me to believe that traffic laws in Cincinnati are loosely enforced.


There are two competing forces in the eastern third of the country. There is Tropical Storm Chris off the coast of North Carolina, generating a northerly flow through, and then there is a cold front ready to sweep through Michigan late this evening, attempting to draw moisture north. Instead of adding any convergence or convection, it’s just taking a lot of the moisture out of the atmosphere that would otherwise be available for the front. It will be getting a bit warmer in the afternoon on Monday, but the showers and storms that would otherwise be triggered by an open Gulf will be shunted west. We’ll get to Lansing before the front does, so that swift pace through Ohio will probably hold up just fine.

Ogden, Utah, to Lexington, Kentucky

We’re off for a fun little road trip today. The drive from Utah to Kentucky takes the familiar route along I-80 through most of Nebraska, but then swings us further south, toward I-70 for the second half of the trip. We’re going to forecast for the whole dang thing, one way or another. It’s a 3 day trek, covering 1650 miles. This means that the daily goal will be 550 miles, right on the nose. I think we can do it.

 

DAY ONE (Friday)

The beginning of July is one of the best times of year to drive through the mountains. You won’t have to worry about snow, for one thing, but also, wherever trees grow, they will be at their greenest of the year, before the daily sunshine scorches any available sun. There are some smoky forest fires in Colorado, which may provide a haze to the drive, however high pressure over the Plains is receding from the Rockies, and the air will begin moving and the haze might dissipate. The additional bonus of ridge pulling away will limit the convergence at the surface, and thunderstorms will likely be non existent from Ogden to Lodgepole, in the Nebraska Panhandle.

DAY TWO (Saturday)
While high pressure is moving away from the Rockies, it isn’t moving much further than that, remaining in the Plains and Mississippi Valley. This means the rest of the drive through Nebraska, and we’ll be able to sneak south towards Kansas City in comfortable weather for this time of year. We’ll make it to Odessa, Missouri, east of KC, for our daily stop.

DAY THREE (Sunday)
As the high pressure begins to break down later in the weekend, Gulf moisture will begin to filter north through Mississippi towards the tail end of our route. We’ll make it to St. Louis with no problems, and there won’t REALLY be a problem for the rest of the route, just a few isolated spits of rain through southern Illinois and into western Kentucky. If any really heavy rain falls, it would likely be right as we cross the Mississippi River, but we will probably slip past there before that is a real threat. Lexington will be returning to hot, sticky conditions as we arrive in town.

Billings, Montana to Bismarck, North Dakota

Today we’re taking another one-day trip between neighboring states. Today, however, is a much further north trip as we head from Montana to North Dakota! Let’s see how this Northern Plains trip will go!

High pressure is settling in over the Northern Plains after a cold front worked its way through the Dakotas and into the Upper Midwest. The route between Billings and Bismarck tomorrow is expected to be dry and filled with sunshine, a most enjoyable day to see the wide open plains!

Deltona, Florida to Augusta, Georgia

Today’s road trip is really a day trip, as only 370 miles separate Deltona, FL and Augusta, GA. Maybe we’re gonna sneak in a midweek round at fabled Augusta National? Let’s find out what the en route weather will be like!

There looks to be a few morning showers moving in from the Atlantic during the morning hours as we start our trip northward, but they should shift past our route by 9-10am. Sun peaks back out for the midday hours as we continue up the east side of Florida before passing by Jacksonville and into southeastern Georgia. Once we head northwest from Savannah, some early afternoon convection looks to fire, but by the time we get there, it should already be west of our route, so we’ll just be driving behind them as conditions clear out in their wake. Not too bad of a day!

Jackson, Michigan to Little Rock, Arkansas

Today we embark on a 824-mile road trip from Lower Michigan to the capital of Arkansas. This will be a 2-day trek for adventure seekers. Let’s hit the road!

DAY ONE

High pressure sitting over the Great Lakes should make for a pleasant start to the day as we head west out of Jackson, MI on I-94 towards Lake Michigan. Increasing clouds are expected as we head through northwest IN past Gary and into northeastern IL. We’ll head south on I-57 and through early afternoon the conditions will remain dry. As we head into central IL during the late afternoon hours, we could see some isolated showers as a boundary lingers from the OH Valley into the Central Plains. Any rain we see should be short-lived as we pull into Mt. Vernon, IL for the night.

DAY TWO

Low pressure hanging out near Sioux Falls will shift through the Midwest during the day, bringing more widespread shower/thunderstorm activity around Southern IL as we start the day. We’ll have to dodge this activity until we get into Arkansas where conditions should finally start to dry out, but clouds should remain. The rest of the day will be smooth sailing as we head into Little Rock in the late afternoon!