Category Archives: Road Trip

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.

Eau Claire, Wisconsin to Saint Louis, Missouri

This is a trip that would lend itself to a scenic trip down the Mississippi, but the fastest route is actually through central Wisconsin and Illinois. Oh well. It will take just about a full day of driving, with a pace of 69mph allowing us to cover the 530 miles in under 8 hours. We won’t follow the River, but on the plus side, when we arrive, we will get a nice look at that Arch.


It is unusually warm through the center of the country, with 70s reaching St. Louis on Friday, and it nearly hitting 50 in Eau Claire. Something has to give. A weak surface perturbation will run from Missouti to northern Indiana through the day, but thanks to the elevated condensation levels caused by the warmer temperatures, there won’t be enough instability to produce any precipitation along our route. There will be plenty to produce some gloomy looking clouds, however, and we shouldn’t be surprised if there is widespread overcast for our drive, particularly for the last few hours, from Bloominhton onward. If there is a drip of rain, it would be from Bloomington to Edwardsville, but I would guess the threat is very low. Sunset in St. Louis will be visible, and the Arch will look very good at dusk.

Elizabethtown, Kentucky to Lansing, Michigan

The road trip today is spent mostly running lengthwise through the state of Indiana. I can tell you from experience that residents there move rather swiftly. Thus, it is somewhat surprising that it will take over 6 hours to cover 407 miles between the two towns, a mere pace of 65.3mph. Well, let’s get to it, I guess, and try to make up some time.


There is a bit of flurry activity currently ongoing in Michigan. That’s generally a statement you could make throughout the winter, but it’s more robust than it typically is thanks to the looming storm prepared to batter the east coast. As it wraps up towards New England, though, the snow in Michigan will peter out, and high pressure sliding into the Plains will win out. Expect a very pleasant drive, with a fresh veneer of white over the city when we arrive in Lansing.

Reno, Nevada to Elizabethtown, Kentucky

It’s time for a road trip. We’ll head for that other town in Nevada for Elizabethtown, which is definitely not a suburb of Louisville. It will take us 4 days to cover the 2118 miles of flyover country. The benefit of such a trip is that we will move fairly swiftly, at a pace of 68.3mph, which means the average day will see us cover 546.6 miles, though our day will be about an hour shorter on Day 4. Let’s hit the dusty trail, shall we?

DAY ONE (Sunday)

Low pressure off the coast of the Pacific Northwest is going to spend most of the day getting stronger and stronger, and consolidating it’s energy in the Northern Rockies and just off the coast from Oregon and California. This will leave us safely within the warm sector of the system as we slice across some of the loneliest countryside the United States has to offer. We’ll make it into the Wasatch, stopping for the day in Winship, Utah, east of Salt Lake City.

DAY TWO (Monday)
The Pacific Monster will be moving inland through the night as we recline in Winship, and we will be in the throes of a rain storm when we get going for the day. The rain will mix with snow at higher elevations, and the heaviest of the activity will be before the Wyoming line. Lighter precipitation will continue to the Rock Springs area in Wyoming. After we have crossed that threshold, the rest of the day will be a piece of boring cake. We’ll make it to Big Springs, Nebraska, which is right at that crook in the state.

DAY THREE (Tuesday)
The energy that has been producing that system that has been chasing us will overtake us and move into the Mississippi Valley on Tuesday. It won’t be able to tap into any Gulf moisture until it reaches east of Big Muddy, which means the drive through Nebraska will be well within the warm sector, and may see temperatures climb all the way to the 60s. We won’t see a drop of rain as everything gets fired up to our east, and we will finish the day in Concordia, Missouri, which is about a half an hour outside of the Kansas City metro.

DAY FOUR (Wednesday)
We will be tailing the last remnants of precipitation organized by the feature that will plague us through the entire trip. By Wednesday, it will be tugging on the Canadian Arctic air, introducing a bit cooler temperatures across the Plains. We won’t be moving quite fast enough to reach the precipitation in Elizabethtown, but we will be the coldest we’ve been on any night on the trip to this point.

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.