Columbia, South Carolina to Fayetteville, Arkansas

There are certainly a few different Columbia to Fayetteville options out there, and this was the longest trip possible of any of those combinations. This particular iteration will result in a day and a half drive, covering 921 miles. The pace between these SEC college campuses will be a somewhat tame 61.9mph covering 495 mile on our first day of travel. Let’s just get going, then.

DAY ONE (Sunday)

Columbia, South Carolina

It’s certainly a nuisance for residence from the central Plains to the Great Lakes to have to endure several days of rain and thunderstorms, but as we drive from Columbia through northern Georgia, we will reap the benefits. The moisture being directed further to the north and west will allow the southeast to dry out a bit. A stream of moisture keeps showing up on the various model runs in the late evening over eastern Alabama, so don’t be surprised to see a little rain from the Georgia line to Birmingham. Mostly cloudy, warm and muggy conditions will continue west to Tupelo, Mississippi where we will round out the day.

DAY TWO (Monday)
The five plus hours through northern Mississippi, and across the state of Arkansas will be increasingly cloudy, and the higher terrain in northern Arkansas is likely to see spots of misty fog. Rain should stay clear of our route, but for the very end, when an isolated thunderstorm will certainly be possible along the hilly I-49 stretch, reaching into Fayetteville.

Fayetteville, Arkansas

Midland, Texas to Columbia, South Carolina

The heat is on in the southwestern United States, but there will be a seasonable reprieve in the southeast. We’ll cover most of it on our 2 day trek, covering 1,325 miles. The second day will be pretty long, so travel with a second driver. The pace will be 68.8mph, which we will use to take a 550 mile chunk out of on the first day, hopefully getting us out of Texas. Let’s find out and get going.

DAY ONE (Wednesday)

Midland, Texas
By Hellorawr at English Wikipedia – Own work by the original uploader, Public Domain,

Often in the summer, cold fronts expire along the coast, and just leave a convergence zone , amplified by the daily sea breezes. That’s what to expect in the coming days, but only as far west as about Lafayette, and not too terribly far inland. This will keep the hottest and most humid air penned to the south, relatively cool, definitely drier air will populate our route to Texas. We will make it just east of Shreveport and the town of Dubberly for our initial day of driving.

DAY TWO (Thursday)
Another feature of summer in the southeast when moisture feeds systems in the Midwest and Great Lakes by streaming across the region. Guidance is pretty consistent with a potential band of light rain over western Mississippi as we drive through. From there through Georgia, expect more isolated showers and storms becoming more active as the area warms up in the afternoon. the Carolinas look a little bit drier, thanks to a weak little spot of development in the Gulf Stream, which will cycle in some subsiding air. Warm — but not too hot — weather awaits in Columbia.

Columbia, South Carolina

Rochester, New York to Wichita Falls, Texas

We’re ready for another road trip, as it, I think, a lot of the world, of late. We’ll take a 2 1/2 day trip from western New York to west Texas, covering 1,448 miles. That means a pace of 67.2mph, which is laudable, and a daily goal of about 538 miles. Summer time is here, and it’s road trip season!

DAY ONE (Wednesday)

Rochester, New York

The nasty weather that has been afflicting the southern Rockies for the last couple of days is finally getting ready to climb to the north. It won’t do it with a lot of upper level support, or added precipitation, but it will still have plenty of resources to give us problems on Wednesday. Light rain will be a factor early in the day on Monday, and with heating of the day, the showers might get heavier and thunder could be possible. Don’t be surprised to hear some rumbles of thunder, particularly between Erie to Mansfield. After that, the light rain will return, but patchier, and with spots of sun. The clear skies will be likelier the further we head to the west, improving from Columbus to Knox, Indiana, which is east of Indianapolis, and will be our night one destination.

DAY TWO (Thursday)
Southwesterly flow off the Gulf will draw along the back end of the cold front on the Eastern Seaboard, leading to some clouds and isolated spots of wet weather. Not the clear, blue skies we would normally expect behind a front, but we’ve been groomed by winter. Instead, mostly cloudy skies will dominate the stretch between Indy and St. Louis. I would label it “partly to mostly cloudy” in Missouri, but not a lot better. Less breezy though, I suppose, for what it’s worth. The day will end in Sarcoxie, between Springfield and Joplin.

DAY THREE (Friday)
With low pressure shifting to the northeast, the Gulf will be reopened, and the south central US will get hotter and more humid. Air mass thunderstorms will be possible in the afternoon in eastern Oklahoma, but we should be through and on to Wichita Falls by the time any real thunderstorm activity fires up.

Wichita Falls, Texas

Lebanon, Pennsylvania to Kalamazoo, Michigan

It seems like these two towns are far apart, at least in my brain, and I suppose they are. It’s a 603 mile drive, lasting for one long day. We’ll set a pace of 64.2mph, thanked, in no doubt, by the fast drivers of Michigan.

Lebanon, Pennsylvania

Low pressure is still spinning over the St. Lawrence Seaway, and it doesn’t look like it will be motivated to move before we are ready to travel tomorrow. Fortunately, isn’t going to be rich with moisture, and we will be in the car, able to avoid the cooler air the low pressure brings in. Some of the flow coming off the lakes could lead to some clouds and fog on the western faces of the Appalachians of central and western Pennsylvania. Mostly cloudy skies will continue through Ohio and Michigan, but they won’t scrape the surface like they could in Pennsylvania. Kalamazoo will be cloudy and seasonably cool tomorrow evening, but a turn around is around the corner.

Kalamazoo, Michigan

Missoula, Montana to Kingston, New York

This May forecast takes us from western Montana to the Hudson Valley of New York. Usually, I try to think of things that places have in common, and frankly, all I’ve got is that the second letter of both towns is the same. They aren’t close on the map, either, requiring a 4 day drive, with the 4th day especially long, to cover the 2416 driving miles between the towns. We’ll move at a pace of 69mph or 552 miles a day, so we will get the most out of the drive too. It’s going to take this long to get from Missoula to Kingston at a fast pace. World’s apart.

DAY ONE (Monday)

Missoula, Montana

Montana is a gigantic state, and we only ever seem to traverse it east to west or west to east. Our drive on Monday, of course, will be west to east, and we still won’t make it out of the Big Sky Country. High pressure is building in the High Plains, with a little bit of moisture on the back end of the ridge butting up against the foothills of the Rockies. We should leave early enough that we will avoid any rain, but the first whispers of clouds will be popping up for the day in and around Missoula, but the rest of our drive in Montana will be under blue skies. We’ll nearly make it to Glendive, Montana, before we turn in for the night.

DAY TWO (Tuesday)
Low pressure is going to get organizing in the Lower Mississippi Valley and moving north to the Great Lakes. This increased organization in low pressure will encourage more stable cold air to move in behind it. Eastern Montana, North Dakota and northern Minnesota will be clear and dry. We will reach Avon, Minnesota, just west of St. Cloud before the day is through.

DAY THREE (Wednesday)
It will be a narrow window between the large system moving into the Great Lakes, and another developing feature behind our route, moving out of the Dakotas into Minnesota and Iowa through the day. We’ll keep just ahead of system, but behind the larger one ahead of us, and voila! A wonderful day. We’ll get through the Twin Cities and Chicago, all the way to La Porte, Indiana. I’ve made a similar drive before, and it is a long one indeed.

DAY FOUR (Thursday)
A slow moving band of light precipitation left over from our trailing weather feature will start to be wrapped into a low pressure center developing in the southeastern US. This will mean less organization and slower progression. There will continue to be a threat of rain just off of our rear horizon, but it will mostly be clear ahead of us. When we hit the Appalachians, the rain will stall, and we should be in clearer and clearer air the further east we head. Downstate New York should be in good shape by the time we arrive.

Kingston, New York

Fort Collins, Colorado to Kennewick, Washington

What a lovely, winding mountain drive we get to take this week, running from Fort Collins to Kennewick. It will take two mountain filled days to get from Colorado to Washington, covering a road distance of 1035 miles. This will mean a pace of 67.7mph, thanks to a route that eschews large population centers. The first day will be longer, and will cover 541 miles of the interior west, leaving a shorter day to enjoy the scenery in the Pacific Northwest.

DAY ONE (Friday)

Fort Collins, Colorado

The two most magical words to any road tripper concerned about the weather are going to apply to our Friday drive. “High Pressure” It will be pleasant and seasonably warm as we hit 4 states on Friday. Most of the time will be spent in Wyoming, a considerable amount in Utah, with our endpoints starting in Colorado and Idaho. You will be able to see for miles in Juniper, Idaho, in the southern part of the state, and the destination for our first day of travel.

DAY TWO (Saturday)
Low pressure arriving from the Gulf of Mexico will not be as cooperative as the high pressure from Friday. Not much precipitation often finds its way inland, so we won’t see heavy precipitation, but we will certainly see some rain between Caldwell, Idaho, a western suburb of Boise, and La Grande in northeast Oregon. Subsident air on the lee side of the Cascades will clear things up for us once again as we arrive in Kennewick. It will probably be clearer and a little more crisp, but what else do you want in the high terrain?

Kennewick, Washington

Anniston, Alabama to San Antonio, Texas

All right, everyone, we’ve got a road trip coming. The drive from Anniston to San Antonio will cover a day and a half and 923 miles. We’ll net around 542 miles on our full day at a pace of about 67.8mph, and having a big day of Texas driving to finish things off.

DAY ONE (Wednesday)

Anniston, Alabama

Things are looking pretty good for the southeast, thanks to a boundary implanted in the southern Gulf. Precipitation won’t be able to filter south as far as Anniston, or really any part of our route. It will be uncharacteristically cool in Alabama or Mississippi, and you will probably find people in Egan, Louisiana, the destination for Wednesday night, in layers when we arrive.

DAY TWO (Thursday)
Surface high pressure is going to drift further to the east on Thursday, and for the first time this season, as far as I remember, a moisture rich return flow will follow the west end of the ridge. Some showers and low clouds will drift into central Texas fairly early in the day. Most noticeably when we step out in San Antonio, the humidity will have arrived.

San Antonio, Texas

Louisville, Kentucky to Elizabethtown, Kentucky

It takes less than an hour to get from Louisville to Elizabethtown. The real intrigue is whether or not you want to take a more westerly tact through Fort Knox, but really, it’s just a 44.6 mile drive at a pace of, as I’m sure you guessed, just over 60mph. Let’s knock out this commute.

Louisville Kentucky

By tomorrow morning, a lost batch of moisture in the Ohio Valley may or may not touch off some showers in western Kentucky. That’s only if the GFS gets it right, because other outlets are pretty dry. We’ll respect the venerable GFS though, and suggest clouds will be possible on the drive down to Elizabethtown.

Elizabethtown, Kentucky

Augusta, Georgia to Decatur, Illinois

The Masters start tomorrow in Augusta, and if you are a local, I bet it’s not your favorite time of year. So why not get out of town, say, by driving as far as you can in one long day. It will take almost 12 hours to get from Augusta to Decatur, covering about 744 miles at a pace of about 64.5mph. It’s definitely going to be an adventure!

Augusta, Georgia

Low pressure in the mid-Mississippi Valley is rapidly occluding, which means it is slowing down and weakening. As a result, it’s not going to clear the route by the time we get moving, but it’s also not going to provide a lot of heavy weather as we drive on Thursday. There will be some rain and isolated thunder with the tail of the front in the high terrain northwest of Atlanta to about Murfreesboro, Tennessee. At that point, we will get into a dry slot, which will be cloudy and glum, but OK for driving. The dry slot will last for the rest of the day, though the further north, and closer to Decatur we get in while driving in southern Illinois, some light rain becomes more and more likely. So don’t go any further north than Decatur, I guess, is what I’m saying.

Decatur, Illinois

Rapid City, South Dakota to Topeka, Kansas

They are only two states away, but at opposite ends of those big Prairie states. What I am trying to say, is that the distance between Rapid City and Topeka is a little bit longer than I expected. Most of it is on an interstate, so the 686 miles will pass at a pace of 67.3mph. I will spare you the math, that’s a 10 hour drive.

Rapid City, South Dakota

I don’t want to sound too overdramatic, but this drive will be a race against time. An area of low pressure moving out of the southern Rockies is headed right toward Topeka. Our route will go north of the northern most fringe of the rain and then east of the easternmost fringe of rain on Thursday. The rain will finally reach Topeka after midnight on Thursday, which means our drive will be dry, but our day in Topeka will not be.

Topeka, Kansas