Category Archives: Road Trip

Olympia, Washington to New York, New York

Well we just did a cross country road trip, so why not do another one? This family is a glutton for punishment. Today, we embark on a 2800+ mile road trip from the capital of Washington to The City That Never Sleeps. It’s going to take a full 6 days to make the trip, so here we go!

DAY ONE

Today starts our intimate trip of I-90 as we’ll be spending plenty of time getting to know it on this trip. A trough is continuing to push through the Pacific Northwest and into the Northern Rockies this weekend, kicking up widespread rain showers from Olympia through the Cascades. They’ll taper off a bit as we push through Central WA, but as we start to head through the tiny bit of Northern Idaho and eventually into western MT, we can expect some snow showers to greet us thanks to the elevation change. It will probably be some slow going for the evening as we end our night in Missoula, Mt.

DAY TWO

Today isn’t going to be much better than the end of Day 1 as the storm system starts to slowly push out into the Plains. However, the snow focused along the inverted trough will keep snow over a decent chunk of our trip today. Billings looks at getting a few inches throughout the day, which is where we’ll have to drive through as we eventually make our way to Wyoming. We’re only making it to Sheridan tonight, darn snow!

DAY THREE

Today will be a long day as we try and make up some time, but we’ll still be somewhat vexed by the storm system we’re “chasing” it seems. The early part of the drive through northwest WY should be cloudy but otherwise fairly quiet, and looks to stay that way until we pass by Rapid City, SD. As we continue eastward on I-90 through the state, we could see some more rain/snow showers by the time we make it to central SD. Luckily any activity should be fairly light and spotty, and eventually we make our way into Sioux Falls, SD for the night.

DAY FOUR

Finally we’ve escaped that storm system! It kinda fizzled out as it pushed into the Great Lakes overnight as high pressure built in behind it over the Upper Midwest. That bodes well for us as today’s trip through Southern MN and southern WI should be fairly uneventful. We end the night in Rockford, IL, only 30someodd miles from my hometown!

DAY FIVE

High pressure will continue to sit over the Great Lakes region throughout the day, so other than some morning clouds, another dry day is in store for us. We’ll traverse our way through Chicago and northern Indiana before negotiating some road construction in Northern Ohio. We’ll end our day in Youngstown, OH, only 1 day to go!

DAY SIX

High pressure still controls the Northeast although a weak boundary is kicking up some showers over NY and southern MI. Luckily, our route through PA and northern NJ will avoid any of those precipitation hiccups. Partly to mostly cloudy skies are expected, but should be smooth sailing weather-wise into NYC for the evening!

Altoona, Pennsylvania to Eugene, Oregon

I’m back everybody! I spent a fortnight over in Ireland, which was my first ever trip across the pond. The weather was stereotypically Irish the first half of the trip, but the last 4-5 days were just SPECTACULAR. Lots of sun, few clouds, no rain, upper 50’s to low 60s. Gorgeous weather for my tour across the country. Meanwhile, back here in the states, I get back into the swing of things with a cross-country road trip, from PA to Oregon. In Ireland, it literally was a 2.5 hour drive to drive across the country. This trip… is going to take 5 full days to traverse the 2,674 miles. Ireland is the size of South Carolina! Well, time to get a move on…

DAY ONE

We start out heading west from Altoona past Pittsburgh into northeastern Ohio. A cloudy morning is expected before breaking up some during the late morning hours. Dry weather is expected as we continue past Cleveland and along I-90 into northern Indiana. By early afternoon, we’ll see some shower activity as an area of low pressure works its way into the Ohio Valley. We could see some isolated thunderstorm activity as well, but the worst of things will remain far off to the south. Shower activity is expected to increase as we push into Joliet, IL for the night.

DAY TWO

There could be a light rain/snow mix as we start the day heading westward, but we’ll quickly get out of that activity as high pressure is sitting over the Plains. Clouds will eventually give way to sunny skies as we make our way through Iowa, and with the dry weather expected throughout the day, a fairly easy day is expected as we pull into Lincoln, NE for the night.

DAY THREE

It’s going to be more of the same today as a ridge of high pressure continues to control the Plains for our trip westward into Wyoming. A developing low pressure system over the Northern Plains will cause some gusty southerly winds in western Nebraska into eastern Wyoming, but dry weather is expected throughout the day once again. We end our long day in Rawlins, WY.

DAY FOUR

A cold front is sweeping its way through the Rockies today, which will bring some rain showers to our route as we make our way through southwestern WY into Northern UT. The system will be warm enough that we shouldn’t have to worry about snowfall on the highways, though there could be some in the much higher mountain elevations. Once we get past Salt Lake City/Odgen, UT, most of the activity should have shifted off to our east. We can’t completely rule out a stray shower or two as we push into southern ID, but shouldn’t be of much consequence. We finish the day in Twin Falls, ID. Almost there!

DAY FIVE

Our final day, and it’s going to be a long one. We’ll take I-84 northwest towards Boise, then eventually on Hwy 20 westward throughout Oregon. High pressure is pushing through the Pacific Northwest, so it should be a dry trip through Idaho and into eastern Oregon. Clouds will be on the increase as we push closer to our final stop, as a cold front looks to shift towards the WA/OR coastline late in the day. We should get to Eugene just ahead of the front’s arrival, but don’t be surprised if a few rain showers are there to greet us.

Burlington, Vermont to Baton Rouge, Louisiana

This is an interesting trip, which will last us three days, but won’t cross the Mississippi at any point. We’re expecting some strong storms in the southern US tomorrow, in particular, so hopefully we won’t be arriving in a region ravaged by storms. Like I said, the trip will last 3 days, covering 1632 miles, which means each day will consist of 544 miles, driven at a pace of 68mph. I think this is an interesting route, let’s see if the weather matches it,


DAY ONE (Sunday)

The most scenic day of our drive will also be the one with the best weather. The route through the interior of New England, and then on through the Appalachians will be without weather troubles. The timing – the weekend – will mean we should have few traffic issues either. We will see parts of 6 states (!) before we call it a night in Clear Brook, Virginia.

DAY TWO (Monday)
The system I promised to bring us weather at some point along his trip will be there on Monday. A strong cold front will be rolling through eastern Tennessee as we arrive in the area. It’s unlikely that the strong thunderstorms will impact us too severely until we reach the Sweetwater, Tennessee area. Strong thunderstorms may linger through Chattanooga, though the fact is, the damage will likely already be done. The strongest storms will steer clear of the mountain range we will be skirting. We’ll stop in Wildwood, Georgia, just across the border from Chattanooga.

DAY THREE (Tuesday)
Day three will remind us more of Sunday than Monday. The system that brings us inclement weather on Monday in Tennessee will move very quickly out of the picture, and we will cover Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana without much concern. Baton Rouge should be sunny and pleasant for our arrival.

Ocean City, New Jersey to Merced, California

We’re rolling cross country tonight, with a long road trip, lasting 5 1/2 days and stretching from one coast almost all the way to the other coast. The mileage will be 2964 miles,, which we will cover at a pace of 539 miles per day, or a little bit more that 67mph. This is going to be a long drive, but at least we will maintain a good pace. Head west, young meteorologist!

DAY ONE (Tuesday)

A weak area of low pressure is spiraling out of the Plains towards the mid-Atlantic. There has been a good deal of severe weather tonight associated with the cold front moving through the Tennessee Valley, but fortunately, as we leave the Ocean City beaches, we won’t have any severe weather with which to occupy our minds with. In fact, through the Philadelphia area, we won’t have any inclement weather disrupting travel. When we do encounter the system, it will be in the hills of Pennsylvania, and it will be in the stratiform rain portion of the system. No thunderstorms for us, but rather a few scattered showers between Harrisburg and Bedford. We should be out of the rain by the time he hit Pittsburgh, and the sun will be shining for the portion of our day spent in Ohio. We’ll stop in Bloomingville, just south of Sandusky, Ohio.

DAY TWO (Wednesday)
We will be between systems on Wedensday as we continue our westward progression towards the Golden State. Ohio, Indiana and Illinois will not present us with any weather worries, though here will be an increase in clouds as we reach western Illinois. The next system will be waiting in the Plains, but like our encounter in Pennsylvania, we will be too far north to worry about thunderstorms, rather seeing some scattered showers in eastern Iowa before pulling in for the night Williamsburg, between Iowa City and Des Moines.

DAY THREE (Thursday)
We are at the point where we are starting to see some divergence in the models. The NAM will keep rain in our route, some of it could include thunder and a brief downpour, all the way west to Grand Island, Nebraska. The GFS, on the other hand, thinks we will be done with rain by the time we reach Des Moines. I happen to think there will be a more abrupt cutoff, but I will officially say that rain will linger all the way to Omaha. That will give us the rest of Nebraska to enjoy in all of its sunlit splendor. We will finish the day in western Nebraska, in Roscoe.

DAY FOUR (Friday)
Another day, another system. This will bring about the added obstacle of snow showers as we hit the higher terrain in central Wyoming. It should be dry, but with increasing clouds until we hit Elk Mountain, but then we will start to see the mountain flurries and lower terrain rain showers. The good news is, we are late enough in the season that the snow levels will be pretty high up. The bad news is, when we hit them, it will be coming down like the dickens. We’ll cross into Utah before the day concludes, but only just. The day will end in Wahsatch, the first exit in the Beehive State.

DAY FIVE (Saturday)
The highlight of our Saturday will be passing through Salt Lake City, because we won’t really see much else on our drive. The sun will be out, and a dusty Great Basin day will unfold before us. We wiill make it to the Fallon area in Nevada, east of Reno before we call it a night. We could probably make it to Reno, because we can almost certainly drive a heck of a lot faster through Nevada than we said in the intro to this piece.

DAY SIX (Sunday)
Our Sunday will be just as weather-averse as our Saturday, but at least we will see Reno, Sacramento, Lake Tahoe and other things that end with the same sound. Merced will be comfortable, sunny and warm.

Jackson, Michigan to Manchester, New Hampshire

We’re going to Canada! At long last, we are cutting through southern Ontario to facilitate our day and a half drive, from southeast Michigan to southeast New Hampshire. The drive is 827 miles, which we will cover at a pace of 65mph. This means our first day should be through after 521 miles of driving, which should place us safely back on American soil for the night.

DAY ONE (Tuesday)

Off we go, and I am happy to report that our venture through Ontario will be slowed only by customs going into and returning from our neighbors to the north. A cold front will be forcing its way towards the Tennessee Valley, so we will be experiencing a bit of a chill, and some breezy weather in Chatham-Kent, London and Hamilton, but no actual precipitation. There may be a few flurries up in the Adirondacks when we return to New York, and we might see a flake as we stop in Westmoreland for the night, but that’s hardly Canada’s fault.

DAY TWO (Wednesday)
The rear lobe of a system moving offshore from New England is expected to organize a bit over Nova Scotia on Wednesday, wrapping moisture back into the White and Green Mountains. We should be far enough south that we stay snow free, but there will likely be a few midlevel clouds as we navigate through Massachusetts and finally arrive in Manchester.

Palm Coast, Florida to Sioux City, Iowa

It’s March now, which means the winter is almost over, and it’s time to head home before Spring Breakers invade the otherwise tranquil beaches of Palm Coast. Our drive will cover 1483 miles and last for two and a half days, slicing right into the middle of the country, and across an area that has seen some significant severe weather this week.  We’ll spend a lot of time on the interstate system which will help coax 68.9mph out of us, and our first two days of travel will be through after 551 miles per day. Let’s get going!

DAY ONE (Thursday)

The very tail end of this week’s destructive spring system will be strewn across the Florida-Georgia border (or the Florida/Georgia Line if you are a country music fan) but will not have the same cold air reinforcement it did as the system moved through the country, and the showers and storms will be more isolated in nature, and when they do pop up, they will be significantly lighter than what the Ohio Valley, or even the Delaware Valley experienced. The threat for rain will be seen through Cordele, Georgia, but then, we will be in that sweet, sweet post frontal high pressure. The drive through Atlanta and Chattanooga will be sunny and dry, and we’ll make it to Kimball, Tennessee with nary a concern. After we have navigated that initial bout of rain, of course.

DAY TWO (Friday)
We will start the day at the base of a thermal trough and finish by sliding into the leading edge of a thermal ridge. So it will be a bit on the cooler end as we start the day, but as we drive through Missouri, it will start getting warmer. We will avoid any precipitation, and we will enjoy the onset of a warm up in Windsor Place, Missouri, just past Columbia.

DAY THREE (Saturday)
High pressure will still be in place in the center of the country. Even better, it will be warm high pressure, with temperatures in the 70s through Omaha, and perhaps still in the mid to upper 60s in Sioux City. Not bad for early March.

Lubbock, Texas to Ithaca, New York

Today we tackle a 1,715-mile, 4-day road trip from Western Texas to central NY. It’s going to take up parts of 2 months to accomplish! Let’s take a look at how March is going to start up on this trip.

DAY ONE

A disturbance is working its way through the Lower MS River Valley, but while the bulk of the thunderstorm activity will shift into the Deep South, some lingering shower and isolated thunderstorm activity will remain possible over the Red River Valley region during the day. We’ll avoid most of that activity as we head eastward from Lubbock to Wichita Falls then head north to Oklahoma City. We could encounter some of that shower/storm activity as we push into OK City, but will be scattered at worst as we cruise on through Oklahoma’s capital and finish up in Tulsa for the night.

DAY TWO

An area of low pressure over NE/IA is shifting towards the Great Lakes today and is expected to fire off strong to severe thunderstorms from southern MO/northern AR through IL to IN starting in the late morning hours and last through the afternoon as it pushes northeast. Luckily for us, we’ll be chasing the action in a sense, as it will stay ahead of our route as we push out of Tulsa up I-44 past Springfield to St Louis. We’ll eventually finish the day in Effingham, IL, feeling lucky as we only see some cloudy skies and maybe just a couple of stray showers throughout the day.

DAY THREE

Well, for as lucky as we were yesterday, today is going to be a rougher day. An area of low pressure will develop over N IL/IN and kick off another round of showers and thunderstorms from the OH Valley down to the Deep South. It’s going to be a soggy start to the day as we head east on I-70 towards Indianapolis and continue on towards Columbus. We’re going to be staying in the warm sector of the store during the day, so at least we won’t be hit by heavy snow (which is expected from N IL into Central MI during the day/afternoon). We’ll finish the day in Ashtabula, OH, on the shores of Lake Erie.

DAY FOUR

The low pressure system is rapidly pushing out over New England and will shift past Nova Scotia by midday. Northwesterly flow over the Lakes will kick up some lake effect snow over the typically prone areas during the day, so we’ll see some snow showers as we head out of Ashtabula in the morning. We’ll continue seeing this activity as we pass Erie and eventually into southwestern NY. Activity will finally wind down as we head further inland, trickling down to just some isolated snow showers and should mostly tail off as we finish the day in Ithaca around midday.

Green Bay, Wisconsin to Bloomington, Indiana

Good evening! We have a road trip to take ahead of a pending snow storm in the Upper Midwest. Our drive will cover 445 miles, lasting a little longer than 7 hours. Fortunately, there will always be a spot to use the restroom, as we won’t be spending much time in the countryside. Our pace will be at 62.7 slowed by the suburban sprawl.

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Green+Bay,+WI/Bloomington,+IN/@41.823727,-89.9626835,7z/am=t/data=!3m1!4b1!4m13!4m12!1m5!1m1!1s0x8802e2e809b380f3:0x6370045214dcf571!2m2!1d-88.019826!2d44.519159!1m5!1m1!1s0x886c5df6b483d8e7:0xe91a912d8bad33d9!2m2!1d-86.5263857!2d39.165325


An area of low pressure over Hudson Bay has a potent, albeit mostly inactive cold front draped just to the south of Lake Superior, and through the day Wednesday, the boundary will get more active as a southerly flow off the Lake really gets going. A more organized area of low pressure off the Gulf Coast of Florida is staunching the flow of anymore moisture into the Mississippi Valley, and as a result, we will stay dry and sun-dazzled as we head into Bloomington.

Lynchburg, Virginia to Green Bay, Wisconsin

Another two day road trip for the forecast pool. This time, we are going back west, as we head for the shores of Lake Michigan. It’s a two day trip between these two towns, covering  933 miles. Unlike the trip from earlier today, our second day will be the short one. Our first day will cover 508.9 miles at a pace of 63.6mph. Let’s see what life is like driving the other direction

DAY ONE (Monday)

This is going to be a nice start to our drive. High pressure is dominating the eastern third of the United States. It is solid, and unimpeachable. We will have no choice but to enjoy the warm weather and sunshine all the way to Greenfield, Indiana.

DAY TWO (Tuesday)
The rest of the drive is going to be a little bit more challenging. The tail of a cold front appended to a broad swath of low pressure moving into Hudson Bay will stall right over Indiana. Rain will be heaviest right away, as we pass through Indianapolis, with lighter showers continuing to the south side of Chicago. Undoubtedly, this will slow us way down, but by the time we pass the formerly known as Sears Tower, we will be breaking out into some cooler sunshine. It won’t be nearly as warm as it was ahead of the front, but at least Green Bay will be dry upon our arrival.

Waco, Texas to Lynchburg, Virginia

Everything is telling me that we are planning a road trip at absolutely the right time, through absolutely the right territory. It’s been a warm February thus far, but part of that is owing to an active pattern, drawing warm air north. We’re going to take two days to drive from Texas to Virginia, covering 1248 miles. The first day will be the shorter day, of 8 hours, with the second lasting 10. We will average a pace of 68.5mph, with the 8 hour day accounting for 547.6 miles of our journey.

DAY ONE (Monday)

OK, so, immediately I can tell you I was wrong. We will not be departing for Lynchburg between systems, as an area of low pressure moving through the Dakotas will be dangling a cold front through the Plains, with the tail of this boundary slicing into Texas, drawing in moisture off the Gulf of Mexico and touching off heavy rain and embedded thunderstorms as early as midnight and continuing until sunrise when we depart Waco. The line of showers and storms will extend north to Kansas. The line of storms will move slower than we will, which means that as we continue eastward, we will eventually get out ahead of the line. Our trek through east Texas will be quite stormy, though. The best bet for breaching that line will be somewhere around Mount Pleasant, Texas, but there could be some showers east towards Texarkana. The good news is that the afternoon drive through Arkansas will bee dry as we arrive under high pressure. We’ll make it to sunny Memphis for our pit stop. Hopefully, we have a bit more good luck on Tuesday.

DAY TWO (Tuesday)
The area of low pressure in the Plains will move towards Hudson Bay, which will slow the cold front own. A secondary area of low pressure will develop at the tail of the front in the Gulf of Mexico, which will stem the flow of moisture into the southern United States. This is good news, because it means the drive through Tennessee and Virginia will be dry and mostly sunny. There might be some overcast overnight in Lynchburg, accompanied by some drizzle, but that’s not so bad. We’re going to be done driving, after all.