Category Archives: Road Trip

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!

Peoria, Illinois to Spartanburg, South Carolina

Are you ready to press for one long day of driving? That’s what we’re in for, headed southeast from northern Illinois to the upstate of South Carolina. The route will cover 739 miles at a pace of 65mph, slowed in large part to the course through Indianapolis, Louisville, Lexington, and Knoxville. There aren’t many stretches of unpopulated regions, and those stretches that are will be through the high terrain of the Smokey Mountains. We will have a travel companion – Tropical Storm Alberto. So let’s see if he will make the drive terribly uncomfortable.


When we get going, the center of whatever is left of Alberto will be centered near Evansville, Indiana, but will be fully dissipated into a system moving through the Plains. All that rain pulled in by Alberto needs to go somewhere, though, and without the organizing pull of a tropical feature, it will instead go everywhere. Scattered showers and storms are expected across the extend of our route, but the heaviest activity will be between Indianapolis and Louisville, thanks to the now diminished Alberto. There might be a few more robust downpours during the final stages of our trip, thanks to flow off the Atlantic attempting to climb the Smokey Mountains. You know, I said it was going to be a long drive, but all this rain is only going to make it seem longer. Hopefully there is a good time awaiting in Spartanburg.

Holland, Michigan to Lincoln, Nebraska

Hello dear friends. I say it’s time to take a road trip, don’t you? Today’s trek will cover 656 miles, and we’ll be able to do it in one long day. Expect a pace of 66mph, slowed considerably by midday traffic in Chicago, but maybe we’ll make up time on I-80 in Iowa?


There is a trough moving through the Great Lakes, draping a cold front through Iowa this evening, bringing some rain and embedded thunderstorms to most of the locations on our route. Of course, our route starts tomorrow. By the time we get going Thursday morning, the route from Holland through Indiana, Illinois and eastern Iowa will be pretty favorable. Unfortunately, a lee trough is going to organize within a prevailing westerly regime ad start causing trouble later in the day on Thursday. West of Des Moines, that warm front may become a bit more lively, with scattered showers and storms as it lifts north. It will be fairly warm between the rain drops, so between that and the threat of a thundershower, maybe roll up the windows and use the AC through Omaha. The threat for rain may actually dissipate every so slightly as we plunge into the warm sector just before we arrive in Lincoln.

Owensboro, Kentucky to Holland, Michigan.

It’s time to hit the road through my old stomping grounds – Indiana. Most of our 7ish hours in the car will be in the Hoosier State, as we slice through the middle of the state. Bloomington and Indianapolis are both worth stops, but the northern half of the state, admittedly, is a little dry. It’s going to be a 427 mile journey, and our off-interstate adventuring will require a slower speed of 62.2mph. Indiana wants me and we CAN go back (through) there.

The weather in Indiana looks pretty darn good today, but that may not be the case tomorrow. We should depart Owensboro in dry conditions, with the sun to our east. Unfortunately, there will be clouds to the west, and by the time we reach Bloomington, we will get splashed with rain intermittently. The chances increase north of Indianapolis, with a cold front over lake Michigan as we arrive in South Bend. Showers will probably be highlighted by thunderstorms as we continue north into Michigan. Brisk winds may be possible on the way into Holland, so keep your hands on the wheel!

Jackson, Tennessee to New Haven, Connecticut

Hey gang, let’s hit the road, shall we? We’re going to take a 2 day trip through the Appalachians and on to southern New England. The distance between the towns of Jackson and New Haven is about 1,100 miles, which we will cover at a pace of about 65mph. We’ll make day one a slightly shorter day, calling it good after about 519 miles, which might actually get us through the entire state of Tennessee!


DAY ONE (Wednesday)

High pressure is wedged into the southeastern part of the country, and will be very good to us for our drive on Wednesday, with sunshine dotting our entire journey. We will hit the Smokeys late enough in the day that the typical fog that gives the mountains their name will not be present. Wei’ll just bounce into Radford, Virginia, nary a care in the world and call it a day after a pretty nice day of travel.

DAY TWO (Thursday)
An area of low pressure moving through the Canadian Maritimes is draping a cold front through the Great Lakes, and it will weaken and drift south towards New York City and Connecticut by Thursday. We’ll run into some wet weather, perhaps around Allentown, with the threat lingering for the rest of the drive into New Haven. By that point, it will be much weaker with storms more widely scattered. An advancing system in the Plains will force the boundary to act more as a warm front, which will lead to precipitation to fall more as generalized high base shower activity. What I’m saying is, if it has to rain, it could be way worse. Enjoy steam New Haven!

Manchester, New Hampshire to Pittsfield, Massachusetts

Tomorrow’s road trip is going to be a pretty quick one, only 150 miles from Southern NH to Western MA. It’s over 50% shorter than the road trip I’m actually taking to IL tomorrow to see family. Odd how that works out sometimes.

It will be a relatively short road trip, but unfortunately, it’s going to be a wet one as low pressure is lifting over the Northeast and New England tomorrow. Rain showers will spread into Southern NH overnight and will continue to linger throughout the region tomorrow as we head westward into far southern VT before turning south on I-91 into MA. It’ll be a soggy day as we pull into Pittsfield around noon, and showers will continue throughout the rest of the day.