Category Archives: Road Trip

Kalamazoo, Michigan to Iowa City, Iowa

Let’s take a little road trip shall we? Today’s is an easy one, just 350 miles separate Kalamazoo from Iowa City. Perhaps Western Michigan is off to play a non-conference game against the University of Iowa? Let’s see if weather will slow down our jaunt to see some quality athletics!

A few snow showers that fell during the early morning hours, but will have dissipated by the time we wake up and start heading out the door. High pressure is nosing its way over the Midwest, which should keep the entire route over northwest IA, northern IL, and eastern IA dry. There’ll be some passing clouds at times, but nothing we should be particularly worried about. A pretty easy drive!

Providence, Rhode Island to Mount Vernon, Washington

This drive is going to be quite lengthy as we head from the East Coast to the West. It will take nearly 6 full days to cover 3,091 miles. We’ll see a great deal of the northern US as we track along at a pace of 67.2mph. The 6th day will be shorter than the first 5, with the first days averaging 537.6 miles. This is a time of year where a drive through this part of the country can be pretty rough, so let’s hope for some good luck.

DAY ONE (Wednesday)

The beginning of our long journey will take us from Providence to western Pennsylvania. There is an area of low pressure in the Gulf of Maine, and a trailer is going to develop overnight over Lake Ontario. It will do a good job of cleaning up the coastal area, though there will be some clouds thanks to a light onshore flow. A weak cold front associated with the system will produce a west wind and some snow showers on the western exposures of the Pennsylvania Appalachians. The best chance of snow will be for the last hour of the day, from Dubois to Grove City, where we will stop for the night, right across the border from Ohio.

DAY TWO (Thursday)
We will be post frontal on Thursday as we head through the southern Great Lakes. There will be a westerly flow through the region, so lake effect snow will be ongoing in Michigan and just across the border, in northern Indiana and Ohio. After we have passed the Goshen, Indiana area, we will see a change. The sun will come out, and while it will be quite chilly, the threat for precipitation will end as well. We’ll make it all the way to Wisconsin, just across the border from Illinois in Beloit.

DAY THREE (Friday)
High pressure will remain over the Upper Midwest. A warm front may produce some snow showers over southwestern Minnesota, but we will manage to stay north of this swath. We’ll make it to Moorhead, just across the Red River from Fargo, without any real worries.

DAY FOUR (Saturday)
The whole time we spend driving through the eastern US, another monster of a system will be organizing out west. The leading edge of this system will emanate a wave of showers, both rain and snow, that will reach the eastern Dakotas by the time we get going on Saturday. We’ll see a bit of a mix from Fargo to Bismarck, with some clearing over the western part of the state into Montana. There will be some clouds, but more importantly, it will be unseasonably warm. We’ll stop in Saunders, Montana, in the eastern part of the state.

DAY FIVE (Sunday)
The low will continue to churn in the Great Basin, and it will come to bear in the northern Rockies. We will encounter the first bouts of snow between Butte and Missoula, and from Missoula to Stull, just across the state line into Idaho, we will really get slammed. This looks like the type of snow that could lead to a road closure, particularly in the twisting terrain of the northern Rockies. Precipitation will be very heavy, and winds will be picking up through the valleys. Let’s try to make it to Stull, and hope that Monday will be better.

DAY SIX (Monday)
Low pressure over the Olympic Peninsula will help usher the heavy snow out of the Idaho Chimney. Not all of it, but some. There will be a few flakes through Couer d’Alene, but in the Cascade rain shadow, we will enjoy our last bit of dry pavement. In the Cascades, light surface precipitation will be preceded by some heavier snow in the mountains. Ah, well, it will be cloudy with some light rain in Mount Vernon. It’s not the Puget Sound without a little bit of dinginess?

Hot Springs, Arkansas to Danville, Illinois

It seems like Ht Springs and Danville should be world’s aoart, but in fact, they are only an 8 hour drive from one another. They will take a quick slice across Missouri, really only passing through Memphis as a large city, and slicing quickly through the rural southern stretch of Illinois. The towns are 606 miles apart, setting the stage for a very swift 70mph trek. We’ll be there in no time!

Because of the easterly track out our initial route, we will spare ourselves the threat for snow and we will see the sun longer than if we had opted to trek through St. Louis instead of Memphis. Northern Arkansas is going to be great, as will the Bootheel of Missouri. We should be able to stay dry as far as Marion, Illinois, and we will almost certainly see some flakes by the time we hit Mount Vernon. The rest of the drive will be flurry filled, but nothing that should really slow us down.

Lewiston, Maine to Hot Springs, Arkansas

We’re headed out of town again, this time on a three day trip out of the northeasternmost¬†state in the union. We will cover 1634 miles, at a pace of ¬†68.1mph, and will divide the travel into three neatly arranged 545-ish mile days. Not much to it beyond that, shall we be on our way?

DAY ONE (Tuesday)

New England looks to be a mess tomorrow, much as it is today. Low pressure is moving up the coast, the remnants of the severe weather that came to the southeast over the weekend. An extremely heavy band of moisture is going to move through overnight tonight. Right now, it looks like snow is falling over Maine, with a sloppy transition area from Portsmouth to central Massachusetts. This transition will shift to the northeast with the heavy moisture. There will probably be some sleet as we get out of Lewiston, with a change to rain by the time we hit Portland. The good news is, I expect precipitation will fall as rain for most of the drive on Tuesday, and will lighten up by Boston. The drive will be close enough to the coast that rain is in the forecast, but not far inland from our route, there is sure to be snow mixing back in. We’ll finally break out of the rain around Allentown, which is good, as the terrain will begin to undulate a bit more for the rest of the day. It’s not going to last much longer, as we will call it a day in Dickinson, Pennsylvania, which will arrive just past Harrisburg.

DAY TWO (Wednesday)
Most of the drive on Wednesday will be fairly pleasant, between the monster system that will be on its way for the Canadian Maritimes and another feature that is tracking further north, and will have access to less moisture. We’ll make it to eastern Tennessee before the day ends, but we will arrive at about the same time as a line of showers and thunderstorms that will be blowing up along the second system’s cold front. The day will end in Kingston, Tennessee, west of Knoxville.

DAY THREE (Thursday)
Behind the front, life looks pretty good. There may be some post frontal overcast, with some intermittent drizzle, which will likely last only through eastern Tennessee. The drizzle is unlikely, and any threat for it will be done after we pass through Nashville. Expect chilly temperatures but sunny skies as we arrive in Hot Springs. Maybe we can see about finding one of those Hot Springs while we’re here…

Little Rock, Arkansas to Lawton, Oklahoma

I would definitely say that this short road trip is best taken tomorrow than today, what with severe weather pummeling southern Arkansas tonight, with tornadoes south of Pine Bluff, near El Dorado. Our drive to the relatively calm Oklahoma will take about 6 hours while we cover 419 miles. The drive is not as the crow flies, which is so we can hop on the interstate and travel at a pace of 68.9mph  down I-40.

Low pressure presently causing severe weather in southern Arkansas won’t be getting much weaker overnight, and the center of circulation will track over the state through morning hours. Fortunately, by tomorrow morning the threat for severe storms will have moved on to the Carolinas, but heavy rain will be a strong possibility through Fort Smith, with some lighter showers continuing until we reach the Checotah exit in Oklahoma, just before we cross Lake Eufaula. Rain through central Oklahoma will take it’s time in exiting, but through Oklahoma City and on to Lawton, I suspect we will be in good shape.

Idaho Falls, Idaho to Little Rock, Arkansas

We’re off to Little Rock on a three day trek through some stretches of land that are a bit less traveled. Our drive will cover only 1549 miles, and will last 3 days, but those days will be driven at a pace of 69.1mph, or 552.8mph. OK, yeah, that’s pretty good. Day three will be shorter, which is good, because there might actually be traffic there.

DAY ONE (Saturday)

A broad upper level trough the western part of the country is going to be bringing some moisture to the Rockies, but as it does so, it will be dissipating rather swiftly. Moisture won’t be able to move east beyond the peaks of the Rockies. Fortunately, we will be able to do so. We will see some flurries around Idaho Falls as we leave, and it will be a possibility until we hit Bondurant in Wyoming, on the eastern slope of the Yellowstone mountains. Wyoming will then otherwise remain dry, with some unusually high clouds for this time of year. We’ll make it south of Fort Collins to the town of Johnstown on Saturday night. Lee troughing will be coming to Colorado overnight, with low pressure emerging around Colorado Springs overnight. What will this mean for Sunday and Monday?

DAY TWO (Sunday)
That low developing in southeast Colorado will really take off overnight, and will do a good job of pulling in cool crisp air into the Plains. We’ll cover easter Colorado and most of Kansas under sunny skies with a bit of a chill to the air. We’ll stop for the day in Wichita, where they will be drying out after a bit of early rain.

DAY THREE (Monday)
That dry air will filter into the Ozarks and on to central Arkansas as the low shifts further to the east. There is always a bit of haze in the Ozarks, so as we pass Fort Smith, there may be a bit of visibility restriction, but the rest of the drive to the state capital will be just fine. We’ll arrive in Little Rock with nary a concern.

Albany, New York to Tallahassee, Florida

Shall we head for the beach? I definitely think so, especially if we are coming from downstate New York. Tallahasee isn’t on the beach, but it’s a lot closer than Albany. The drive between the cities will last 2 days, with the second day lasting a couple extra hours. The cities are 1239 miles apart, which will lead to a swift I-95 pace of 69.6mph. The first day in the car will be over after 556.8 miles, leaving the spare for Saturday. Let’s get progressively warmer with a southward journey.,+New+York/Tallahassee,+Florida/@36.3587892,-83.5046482,6z/am=t/data=!4m13!4m12!1m5!1m1!1s0x89de0a34cc4ffb4b:0xe1a16312a0e728c4!2m2!1d-73.7562317!2d42.6525793!1m5!1m1!1s0x88ec8a5187124b53:0xebee077ad4fdb1f8!2m2!1d-84.2807329!2d30.4382559

DAY ONE (Friday)

There is a quickly diminishing cold front sliding through New York and the Mid-Atlantic this evening. There is a break in the action in downstate New York, however a brisk west wind will be bringing temperatures down overnight, encouraging us, no doubt, to get the heck out of town. The boundary will continue to shift south and split in two. We won’t see any rain through the day on Friday, but south of New York City, we will notice a more aggressive breeze. After we pass through the DC area, the overcast will become noticeably darker. Some gloomy skies will accompany us all the way to Mount Pleasant, North Carolina, just across the Virginia border.

DAY TWO (Saturday)
The boundary will see a weak area of low pressure develop over the Appalachians, dragging moisture off the Bight of Georgia and some instability from over the Blue Ridge Mountains. The recipe won’t be one for heavy precipitation, but the Carolinas will be a little damp as we drive through them, but drier air will emerge as we ht Savannah and Jacksonville. IT will still be humid, of course, but the threat for rain will stay in the Palmetto State. It should be pretty warm as we slice across north Florida. Yes, the last hour or so from Tallahassee to the beach will be worth it.

Durham, North Carolina to Mansfield, Ohio

Hey, it’s a short road trip! For the first time all year, we are going on a one day excursion through Appalachia. We’ll spend most of this day in the mountains, covering 521 miles at a hair of 8 hours, which will be at a pace of 64.3mph. It’s only one day, and a trip through the mountains could be fun.

Surface high pressure has built in behind the snow storm of this weekend, and I assure you, it’s not going anywhere quickly. In fact, an upper level ridge will be moving into the area, bringing temperatures potentially above freezing by the time we come out of the mountains and arrive in Ohio. Mansfield, dare I say, will be seasonably pleasant when we arrive.They missed the really nasty snow, so ironically, a drive to the north may ultimately be a good way to get away from the winter doldrums!

Mobile, Alabama to Chicago, Illinois

Really, given some of the distances we have driven recently, Chciago isn’t that far from the Gulf Coast. It helps that I-65 runs from Mobile all the way to the Indiana portion of Chicagoland. Because so much of this drive is on interstate, and the same interstate at that, the drive will come at the rapid pace of 69.5mph, which means on our first day of driving, a full day of motoring up 65, we will cover 555.8mph, leaving the rest to cover on a 5 hour day on Sunday.

DAY ONE (Saturday)

The thing about our drive on Saturday is that it will be strongly dictated by what happens today. A very wet, but unusually cold system is setting up for the southeast. There is a threat for up to 6″ of snow, from Mississippi to North Carolina with heavier snow even further east, towards the Carolinas. The sloppiest area along our route will be between Birmingham and the Tennessee border, iwith lower totals potentially as far north as Nashville. The threat for ice will be high south of there, with a glaze possble anywhere from Mobile to Birmingham, with the heaviest icing from Georgiana to Montgomery. Our day will be dictated by how much ALDOT can clean I-65 up tongiht. They’ve struggled with storms like this in the past. If we can get out of Mobile, we should make it to Bonneville in central Kentucky, but there is a realistic chance that our drive is over before it even gets started.

DAY TWO (Sunday)
If we can dig out of Alabama, and we can make it all the way to Bonneville, our little 5 hour trip on Sunday will be a piece of cake. Chilly high pressure wiill be in place over he Great Lakes and Ohio Valley, so the sun will be out and the only thing with any issues will be our car battery. Like I said, it will be chilly in Chicago. Enjoy the sunshine, though!

Olympia, Washington to Fond du Lac, Wisconsin

We are three days into the New Year, and this is our shortest road trip of all of them. It’s been a lot of driving so far, and we have a 3 1/2 day trek ahead of us, covering 2,002 miles. We’ll be flying along I-94, which will allow a pace of 69mph, which will provide us with 552 miles covered in a day. That is a heck of a pace. Make sure to catch a ride, otherwise it will be in the next state before you know it.

DAY ONE (Wednesday)

Low pressure is moving ashore in northern California, and will extend it’s reach further east through the day tomorrow, with snow spreading through the Rockies and all the way to Nebraska, The good news, however, is that the snow will be unable to stretch north to I-90 close to the Canadian border. Of course, it’s going to be crazy cold, but high pressure will do an excellent job suppressing the northward advance of any precip. We’ll stop in Bearmouth, Montana, which is east of Missoula. I know the weather will be dry, but I’m not sure how comfortable being in a place called “Bearmouth”. Hmmm….

DAY TWO (Thursday)
Montana is a big state. One can never cover it in just one day, and we will end up on the eastern edge of the state, near Wilbaux on Thursday night. In the interim, there is a chance we see a little bit of light snow around Billings, thanks to a broad, sickly upslope flow, but it is more likely that we will only encounter a few clouds on our journey. On Friday, we will leave Montana.

DAY THREE (Friday)
The threat for that upslope flow is going to increase in Montana through the day Friday, so maybe we’ll want to get going a little sooner, but other than that, we will enjoy a third precip-free day as we barrel eastward through North Dakota and into Minnesota. We’ll be approaching the Twin Cities as we close out our Friday. They’ve recently had some very significant freezing rain, all followed by some bitterly cold temperatures, so it will likely still be icy from Fargo to the Twin Cities, if not on the roads, then in parking lots and on sidewalks when we stop. We’ll make it to Monticello, just on the fringes of the Twin Cities metro, before we call it a day.

DAY FOUR (Saturday)
This is it! We’re off on the last bit of our trio of lengthy trips that have started this year. High pressure and westerly flow will ensure that it will pass without too many issues. Of course, that westerly flow over the Great Lakes will mean some fun times in Michigan, but we aren’t going that far! Just the chilly burg of Fond du Lac, on the shores of Lake Winnebago