Category Archives: Road Trip

Portland, Maine to Reno, Nevada

We’re not quite crossing the country, technically, but driving from Maine to western Nevada qualifies as “almost”. It’s a 5 ½ day trip from Portland to Reno, covering almost 3000 miles, putting us at a pace of 67.6mph. we’ll lose most of that time in New England, because I-80 will be very forgiving through the center of the country. Expect 541 a day, which will be pushing it on Day One, but easy in subsequent days.

DAY ONE (Wednesday)


Cool high pressure has infiltrated New England, but that’s only going to last today. Expect a little post frontal trough to rotate through the eastern Great Lakes into tomorrow, and intercept our course in the mid afternoon. The particular concern this time, is that temperatures are going to be chilly enough that snow flurries aren’t out of the question, and starting in Herkimer, New York and continuing west through the Finger Lakes, there will be a chance for some light flurries until we arrive in Dunkirk, south of Buffalo. We’ll potentially have snow on the ground as we call it a night in western New York.

DAY TWO (Thursday)
The nice thing about our burst of snow on Wednesday is that it will move very quickly to the east. We’ll be in clear skies by the time the sun rises on Dunkirk, and high pressure is going to set up across the Great Lakes and central Plains by the end of the week. There won’t be a threat for any showers, storms, or maybe even clouds throughout the day. We’ll make t to Ottawa, Illinois by day’s end.

DAY THREE (Friday)
The drive west on Friday will be a bit more tenuous. There are the early indications of a cold front developing just west of the Mississippi, though nobody is completely sold on the precipitable impact for our route. If we see any wet weather, it will come quickly between the Quad Cities and Des Moines. After Des Moines, expect blustery conditions and a noticeable drop in temperature. We’ll stop between Lincoln and Kearney, in Shelton, Nebraska, where it will be cooler but dry.

DAY FOUR (Saturday)
If we thought we had high pressure on Thursday, well, the ridge setting up on Saturday will really knock our socks off. It’s going to be so stable in Nebraska and Wyoming as the weekend gets underway. We’ll reach Table Rock in south central Wyoming to end the day. Good luck finding a spot to stay, but it’s going to be extremely tranquil, wherever we go.

DAY FIVE (Sunday)
The monsoon season isn”t quite over in the southwest, but it is seriously slowed down. Showers are going to work their way north into Nevada, but a large part of the activity will stay down around Las Vegas. Still, don’t be completely surprised if there is a dark cloud on the southern horizon between Wells and our destination for Sunday night, Valmy, Nevada.

DAY SIX (Monday)
Monday looks like a pretty good day for driving to Reno, so long as you stay out of the mountains. You are staying on the route, and out of the mountains, right? Because there will be some high elevation snow up in those things. Reno? Reno looks real nice. 

Elkhart, Indiana to Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Today’s road trip will be just under 700-miles and take 2 days to cover, as we venture from N Indiana to the heart of Alabama

DAY ONE

A stationary front is sitting over Northern Indiana, keeping chances of rain in the area as we depart southward in the morning. Conditions should improve as we pass Indianapolis, with drier conditions expected over the southern half of the state but cloudy skies remain. We’ll be fine as we pass by Louisville but additional showers and thunderstorms are possible in the afternoon as we continue southward through Kentucky. Chances for inclement weather continues into the evening as we make way for Nashville, our stop for the night.

DAY TWO

Chances for some morning showers are possible in the Nashville area as we continue our southward trek. Conditions should improve by the time we make it to Alabama, but a few spotty early afternoon thundershowers are possible as we make our way past Birmingham and eventually into Tuscaloosa.

Santa Barbara, California to Lancaster, Pennsylvania

We embark on a week-long, 2,738 mile, cross-country road trip, right as weather gets busy in the Southwest. Juuuust peachy.

DAY ONE

We get an early start on the day as we’re playing a race of sorts on Monday. Tropical Storm Rosa is heading towards Baja California and looks to impact the Desert Southwest over the next couple of days. Rain streaming ahead of the storm is already impacting Arizona. Quiet weather is expected for our departure out of Santa Barbara towards Los Angeles, and continues as we head north on I-15 into the Mojave Desert. We head eastward on I-40 and will be following this interstate for quite a while and we’ll start to see some scattered shower activity in the afternoon as we cross over into Arizona. As the evening progresses, we’ll see an increase in shower activity and perhaps some embedded thunderstorms as we make our way to Flagstaff, our stop after the long day.

DAY TWO

The remnants of Rosa are shifting into Arizona this morning, so our start out of Flagstaff will be off to a slow start. On the plus side, the lions share of the heavy rains are getting caught up in the mountains to the south. However, it will still be a messy start to the day as we head out of Flagstaff towards Gallup, NM. The further east we go, the more the weather improves as the rain mostly heads northward into Utah. By the time we reach Albuquerque, the rain should have come to an end. The rest of the afternoon and evening should be fairly quiet as we end the day in Tucumcari, NM.

DAY THREE

Today should be a fairly easy day overall! Low pressure intensifying over the Northern Plains will cause much angst to those from Montana to Minnesota, but with a nose of high pressure extending into the Southern Plains, it should be enough to keep the rain chances away. We could probably see some increased southerly winds during the afternoon as southerly flow feeds the low pressure off north. We cruise on by Oklahoma City in the afternoon and settle in Tulsa for the night.

DAY FOUR

As low pressure continues to explosively develop and shifts into Canada, the cold front trailing this system is dropping into the Mid-MS River Valley and Central Plains. We still expect dry weather as we head out of Tulsa northeastward on I-44, but as we head past Springfield, MO and head further into Missouri, we’ll get closer to encountering showers and perhaps a few thunderstorms along the front. It looks like the activity will hold off to the north of our route long enough to make it to St. Louis, but the threat will remain for the rest of the evening as we head into Effingham, IL for the night.

DAY FIVE

Today will be an abbreviated day of sorts, as we’re only traveling 350 miles to Columbus, OH. But as a new area of low pressure begins to intensity over the Midwest, scattered shower activity looks to develop over the OH Valley throughout the morning. Heavier activity will remain off to the north of our route, but don’t be surprised if we see a stray thunderstorm over OH before we read our destination for the day.

DAY SIX

A cold front will be hot on our heels today as we continue eastward on I-70 then get onto I-76, which will take us the rest of the way. We could see some morning shower activity, but dry weather is expected for much of the day. An approaching cold front will continue to trail us, bringing showers and thunderstorms to OH and NW PA, but luckily it’ll be just slow enough so our final push into Lancaster should be largely an easy task. We’ve made it!

Utica, New York to Pascagoula, Mississippi

Let’s get our October started off right, and make our way from Upstate New York to southern Mississippi on a 2 and a half day journey across middle America. The trip will cover 1382 miles at a pace of 69mph. Days 1 and 2 will have a goal of 552miles, with day three shorter and allowing some beach time.

DAY ONE (Monday)

There is an orphaned band of precipitation at the southern flank of high pressure over the Great Lakes, and it will continue to present western New York with the threat for an isolated shower through most of the day. Even so, the ability to draw moisture towards the boundary is going to be compromised by undercutting troughs, and our route is likely to be mostly unoccosted, because the trough causing precipitation in New York will be slightly north of the New York Thruway. Certainly, by the time we pass Dunkirk, we will be out of the woods, and with that area of precipitation organizing around a developing wave around Lake Michigan, the drive through Ohio looks pretty good. We’ll call it a day around Midway, Ohio, which is Midway between Columbus and Cincinnati.

DAY TWO (Tuesday)
As the wave in the Great Lakes moves east, it will collect a bit of moisture and dangle a weak line of showers and isolated embedded thunderstorms through the Ohio and Tennessee Valley. It’s going to line up right along our route, and I-65 will be fairly damp through Kentucky and Tennessee. It should be a bit more stable by the time we reach Alabama, however, and the drive through the northern part of the state will be hot, humid but free of rain. We’ll end up in the Pelham area, which is a southern suburb of Birmingham.

DAY THREE (Wednesday)
Everything is looking great for the southern US by mid-week. There is nothing on the horizon for southern Alabama, and if we see anything in Pascagoula, it will be a brief shower off the Gulf, but I’m not expecting even that. 

Fayetteville, North Carolina to Gadsden, Alabama

Today we embark on a one-day road trip, from eastern NC to northern AL. It’ll be a lengthy day, will the weather cooperate with us getting to Alabama in a timely manner?

A nose of high pressure is extending over the Carolinas into parts of the Deep South, so our day should start off dry and mostly sunny. The weather shouldn’t be an issue as we get into Georgia, the main issue will be hoping the roads we need to be open to get out of NC are actually open, considering rivers continue to crest with catastrophic flooding continuing over the Eastern Carolinas. A cold front is pushing into the OH Valley tomorrow evening, trailing back into the Southern Plains, but should remain far enough off to the northwest as to not adversely affect our final push towards Gadsden. A couple spotty showers may sprinkle the landscape, but nothing too concerning.

Blacksburg, Virginia to Joplin, Missouri

We’re going on a westward journey, trying to head away from Tropical Depression Florence. The trip will take a day and a half, spending a lot of time astride of the waterlogged Appalachians, and covering 907 miles. The first day will be through after 528 of our miles have been covered thanks to a pace of 66mph. Let’s find some dry land.

DAY ONE (Monday)
As we head southwest out of town, it will seem we are headed for the part of the country that had the worst taste of Florence, but we will be on the Tennessee side of the border, likely able to avoid the threat of flash flooding on the well maintained interstates. Florence will be moving northeast, as it happens, so while we will still be driving through her rains, they will be diminishing throughout the drive. We might even break into some dry roadways around Nashville. Rain will be intermittent to non existent for our drive in western Kentucky. We’ll stop in Calvert City, Kentucky, a town that might not endure any rain from the broad scope of Florence. That will be nice, as we will definitely want to dry out. 

DAY TWO (Tuesday)
Tuesday will be about as different from Monday as you could hope. High pressure will be seated right in the middle of the country. A disturbance in the Dakotas might bring some clouds or a very isolated shower as far south as northern Missouri, but we’ll be sitting pretty in the southern part of the state, where Joplin will be hot, humid and bathed in sun.

Anniston, Alabama to Weirton, West Virginia

As Florence continues to bear down on the Eastern Seaboard, we’re taking a 2-day road trip from northern Alabama to extremely northern West Virginia. Why are we driving into the possible future path of Florence? Heck if we know.

DAY ONE

High pressure controls the Great Lakes down into the Deep South, keeping scattered shower activity mainly east of the Appalachians. We can expect increasing clouds throughout the day as we head north to Chattanooga then to Knoxville before continuing northward to Lexington, where we finish up the day.

DAY TWO

High pressure loses its’ grip a bit on the region, leading to mostly cloudy to overcast skies throughout the day. While we should see dry conditions on our route through southern Ohio, there’s still a chance a couple stray afternoon showers could dot our windshields. It really shouldn’t be an issue though, so an easy jaunt into Weirton is expected.

Peoria, Illinois to Gadsden, Alabama

Labor Day isn’t usually a holiday that people travel for, but you might. It’s a three day weekend, so even though the one day trip is a long one, it doesn’t necessarily take up the whole weekend, giving us some time in Gadsden, even if we leave tomorrow. The drive will take 9 hours or so, and cover 641 miles, putting us on a pace of 68.8mph, which will certainly get us to Gadsden in plenty of time. 

A cold front is stalling across northern Illinois, with high pressure sitting over the eastern US, sticking its butt end right into our route. The best threat for thunderstorms through the day will be very early on, but through midday there could be a stray shower as the heating of the day actually burns off most of the cloud cover through Southern Illinois. The rest of the drive on into Alabama looks to be quite delightful, if a little steamy for any stops for gas. Gadsden, likewise, will be hot and stuffy for our Labor Day. 

Laredo, Texas to Washington, D.C.

Today we embark on a lengthy road trip, from the Mexico border to the nation’s capital! 1,723 miles separate Laredo and Washington DC, so it’s going to take 4 days to cover it all.

DAY ONE

High pressure is found over the Central Plains pushing into the Mid-MS River Valley. However, its’ effects are widely felt throughout the Central US and will keep much of East TX quiet throughout the day. The lone hiccup in the day may be some isolated shower/thunderstorm activity along the Central TX Gulf Coast, as the tail end of a weak boundary is lingering over the region and kicked up some thunderstorms in the Houston area today. This activity should be fairly isolated however so any impact should be minimal if we run into them between Victoria and Houston. The rest of the day should be smooth sailing as we finish the day in Lake Charles, LA.

DAY TWO

High pressure continues shifting eastward, and lucky for us, it’s sitting right over the route for the second day! No precip is expected as we head eastward out of Lake Charles along I-10 to Baton Rouge, then we continue on I-12 north of Lake Ponchartrain before heading north on I-59 out of Slidell. We continue along I-59 through MS before ending our day in Livingston, AL, just inside the border.

DAY THREE

Another enjoyable day thanks to high pressure! There’s a slight chance of an isolated shower or two over central AL during the late morning hours. But as we shift into far northeastern AL and make our way into TN, mostly sunny skies should continue to greet us as our northeastward trek proceeds. Partly cloudy skies are expected over eastern TN as we go past Knoxville and end our day in Bristol, TN, right on the TN/VA border.

DAY FOUR

Our last day! Will our luck finally run out when it comes to rain? Even though clouds will be on the increase today, and some scattered shower activity may dot the landscape, much of this activity looks to be caught up on the west side of the Appalachians, leaving our trip through VA fairly uneventful once again! We finish our day up cruising into DC under partly cloudy skies!

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!