Category Archives: Road Trip

Bangor, Maine to Kingsport, Tennessee

Usually when we do these road trips, I break them into 8 hour days, and if there is any left over time (according to Mapquest), I add an extra day if there is more than 2 hours. Today’s trip from Maine to Tennessee is 18 hours and 1 minute’s worth of driving. Awesome. it’s a 1073 mile trek through the busiest corridor in the United States, I-95, so we’ll go at the relatively slow pace of 59.6mph, and cover 476 miles on those first two days, leaving about 120 miles for the third day. I think that will be manageable.

DAY ONE

By the time we are in Parsippany, New Jersey, the first stop for today’s journey, we will have covered 35 of our route’s turns, according to Mapquest. Amazing. The drive through Boston and New York will be mostly agreeable in terms of weather, though hot, humid conditions will build, necessitating the use of air conditioning or a rolled down window in order to hear the denizens of New York calling you a moron. Not that you are, of course. A boundary shifting towards the east, kind of a cold front associated with a low over eastern Canada and kind of a warm front associated with the strong system in the Mid-Mississippi Valley will mean a threat for some isolated sprinkles after Hartford and until we reach Parsippany.

DAY TWO
Our second day of travel will be considerably wetter, as we drive right along the east-west oriented part of our cold front/warm front combo, from Parisppany to to about Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. In that line, there is a good chance we will see very heavy rain and some isolated thunderstorms. There may be a break in the action when we get south of Chambersburg, because after passing through the 34 combined miles of Maryland and West Virginia, we will be on the lee side of the Appalachians, which will help stamp out the thunderstorms for a while. Sure, there will be a few showers as we approach Dublin and Newbern, Virginia. Pick one of those cities, and that’s our destination on Monday.

DAY THREE
Hey, good thing we waited to finish this trip! The front will be through, and clearing, cooler conditions will be taking hold of the Smokeys when we arrive. Instead of torrential downpours, we will arrive in Kingsport in style, with pleasant weather all around us.

Winston-Salem, NC to Fayetteville, AR

Today’s road trip is a relatively short one, compared to the recent coast to coast excursions we’ve encountered. So away we go! This trip will cover a modest 979 miles.

DAY ONE

A beautiful day for a road trip! After the recent storm system that’s been moving through the TN Valley and exiting the Mid-Atlantic, high pressure is building into the area, clearing out the cruddy low clouds leftover from the showers and thunderstorms traversing the area today. Winds will be on the light side for most of the trip, especially once we get west of the Appalachians and into eastern sections of TN. The initial part of the trip might see a little bit of wind from downsloping conditions, but nothing too big to worry about. Be sure to bring the sunglasses, you’ll need them as we continue westward into Nashville, our stop for the 1st day.

DAY TWO

A large storm system is starting to take shape over the Northern and Central Plains, deepening as it exits the Rockies. Strong low-level flow is expected out ahead of this developing system, which means some increasing low clouds throughout the day. Winds should be fairly light in Nashville as we head out in the morning with the high pressure ridge just to the east and pulling away. However, once we make our way to Memphis and westward into Arkansas, southwest winds will become gusty along with some scattered low clouds as the low-level flow increases. No showers are expected though as we push through Little Rock and northwestward towards Fayetteville, those should be reserved for the area along the front over the Southern Plains.

Ames, Iowa to Johnson City, Tennessee

We’re taking off for a 2 day journey from Ames to Johnson City, a journey that covers 931 miles. On the first day, we’ll try to cover about 500 miles on that first day. It’s not an easy, interstate heavy drive down to Johnson City, so we’ll move slowly at about 62mph. We’ll make it though, even though we will deal with quite a few showers and storms along the way.

DAY ONE

A system developing over the center of the country will be shifting into Iowa in the morning, bringing with it some heavy rain.for the beginning of our drive with some isolated thunderstorms embedded with it. Expect heavy rain from Ames to Des Moines as we travel south, then rain continuing, but not as intense as we head towards the Quad Cities. There will be redeveloping showers as the afternoon carries on, with heavy showers possible anytime through the afternoon. Don’t be surprised if we have to pull off the road due to visibilities near Peoria or Champaign. It will still be raining, with some thunder, as we sneak into Indianapolis at the end of the first day.

DAY TWO
Don’t be fooled by the weather at the beginning of the day. We’ll see wet weather to our east and some clearing skies in the morning in Indianapolis, and we’ll be able to enjoy some of it as we head south into Kentucky. The heavy rain will really pick up after we hit Louisville and start veering off towards Lexington then south to Johnson City. We’ll stay just ahead of the crushing rain that will eventually sneak into Johnson City, but we’ll definitely experience it. Have fun with THAT.

Naples, Florida to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Our trip will take a little under three days as we traverse the suddenly active Southeast. If anything, we’ll be headed the 1404 miles to a somewhat less humid area in Oklahoma City. Perhaps we’re just interested in shipping oranges to Oklahoma. Anyways, we’ll be able to cover 506 miles on the first two day at 63.3mph. So let’s box up those oranges!

DAY ONE

A weak band of showers is still moistening the Florida Peninsula, but it’s on it’s way out of town. We’ll likely see some red skies as we wake up, but only partly cloudy skies when we take off. We will be problem free all the way through Florida and then on to Georgia, where we will hop off the main road. Our day will end in Richland, Georgia, which I am sure is a beautiful town south of Columbus.

DAY TWO
The drive will be easy again on Thursday, but not quite as pleasant as the drive on Wednesday. There will be a chance for some showers and thunderstorms as we approach the Memphis area. Call it Holly Springs, Mississippi where we run into some wet weather, which will take us through the Memphis metro. We’ll likely be out of it, however, by the time we reach Forrest City, Arkansas. Let’s not push our luck though, and call it a day in Carlisle, which is east of Little Rock.

DAY THREE
If, and that’s only an if, we see a thunderstorm on Friday, it will likely be between Little Rock and Fort Smith, and there is a decent enough chance that we should be wary that the storms will be strong. It’s a well wooded stretch of road through Arkansas, so we probably won’t get too much warning when a squall line is coming, not as much as we would in the Plains, so be sure to stay tuned to local radio and not the iPod until we make our way to Sallisaw, where we should be out of the woods all the way to Oklahoma City.

Jefferson City, Missouri to Gainesville, Georgia

We’re going to take a day and a half to sneak from Jefferson City, the capital of Missouri, to Gainesville, Georgia, the Chicken Capital of the World. The World! It’s a 683 mile drive, of which we will cover 483 miles on the first day. A lot of time spent off the main roads will mean a pokey 60mph pace. Well, let’s get pokin’ already!

DAY 1

Our first pokey day in the car will spend time in St. Louis and Nashville before terminating in Smyrna, Tennessee, which lies on the southeast side of Nashville. The drive should be all right, as a stationary front is wrapping from northern Illinois to Northern Missouri and southwest towards Oklahoma. South of this boundary, we’ll get to see some hot weather by afternoon, but we won’t have any other problems than that, especially if the rain stays along the front, north of our route, as it’s expected to.

DAY 2
All the moisture being trucked north from the Gulf is being brought north on the backside of a weak ridge in the southeast. That means all the showers and storms are going to develop over Texas and the southern Plains, and the front, as it sags south towards our route will dry up. Expect some clouds, though, and still warm weather as we arrive in Gainesville.

Salisbury, Maryland to San Jose, California

For the 2nd straight time, we have a ridiculously long road trip to embark on, from sea to shining sea (so to speak). This one covers 2,959 miles. Hope you brought enough snacks.

DAY ONE
The high pressure ridge over the Eastern US will make for some near record warmth over the Northeast as we make out way past Baltimore and through Hagerstown, PA. Clouds will be on the increase as we make our way past Pittsburgh as low pressure over the Southern Great Lakes will push a vigorous cold front eastward. Strong to severe thunderstorms are expected over the Mid-MS Valley and into the Ohio Valley later in the day. Luckily, we’ll escape much of this activity until we make it to Cleveland, our 1st stop. Gusty winds are expected later on in the day as we make our way through the Appalachians. Some scattered showers are possible ahead of the front late in the evening, with some thunderstorms possible late at night as the front makes its way through OH.

DAY TWO
The cold front will be moving through Cleveland right around when we wake up, which could make for some interesting traffic as rain and some thunderstorms are expected during the morning rush hour. Once the front moves through, however, precip should trail off pretty quickly and gusty winds switch around from the northwest. Temperatures will be noticeably cooler today thanks to the new air mass spilling in from the Upper Midwest, and those gusty winds won’t be helping matters much either. In any event, rain showers should tail off by late morning as we make our way out of Indiana into northern Illinois. Quiet conditions should greet us for the rest of the day through Iowa City, IA, our stop for day 2.

DAY THREE
Alas, it’s a quiet day for us as we continue our tour of I-80. High pressure ridge has developed over the Central US as the lingering end of a cold/stationary front is found parked over the Dakotas. An area of low pressure attempts to weakly form along the front in the Northern Rockies, but will otherwise remain fairly benign. Some high clouds will greet us as we pull into Ogallala, NE for the end of the day.

DAY FOUR
An area of low pressure will develop over the High Central Plains during the day today as we’re making our way westward into southern Wyoming. The lingering cold/stationary front over the Northern Rockies will pretty much camp out where it is, however some increased shower activity will kick up over the Dakotas and northern WY. Some of these wandering showers might wet the windshield as we travel through southwestern WY, but will wind down during the late evening as the sun sets for the day. Some thickening clouds will be expected as we pull into Salt Lake City for the night.

DAY FIVE
An upper-level trough will be digging into the West Coast, spreading showers throughout the Pacific Northwest and the Northern Rockies. Luckily, most of these showers should stay off to the north of I-80 as we continue our westward push out of SLC and into the high deserts of northern NV. Sunglasses probably won’t be needed today as clouds will continue to stream over the region ahead of the advancing trough, but shower and isolated thunderstorm activity should be mainly found over Oregon and Idaho throughout the day. Conditions should be nice as we pull into Reno, NV, our stop for the day. We’re almost there!

DAY SIX
As broad low pressure continues to develop over the Northern Rockies into the Northern Plains, a cutoff area of low pressure will have swung well off the CA coastline before making an easterly turn towards Baja California. The main impulse of energy over the Pacific Northwest will shift into the Northern Rockies, and inbetween these 2 systems, a brief ridge of high pressure looks to develop over Central CA into Southwest OR. This couldn’t be timed any better, since it’ll keep the rest of our trip through the Rockies, through Sacramento, and into the Bay Area, finally arriving at our final destination! After two long trips like this, I think the family is going to not mind about those airline fees and just fly.

Greensboro, North Carolina to Altoona, Pennsylvania

Welcome to a road trip featuring one of the longest titles ever. It’s going to be a 7 hour trip, and covers almost 400 miles. Expect a slow rate that covers ground at about 56mph. Shall we?


Our drive on Saturday will be rather easy. We’ll meander through the mountains of the eastern time zone. Expect warm temperatures for the day, well above average. Keep the windows down, because we won’t have any precipitation at all for the entire 7 hour day. Altoona could be clearing 80 by the time we get there!

Denver, Colorado to Gainesville, Florida

From the foothills of the Rockies to one of the biggest party schools in the nation, our drive is going to cover 1737 miles. Better hit the road!

DAY ONE

A rather vigorous upper-level trough is digging into the Western US, with an area of low pressure intensifying over the Central Plains. This area of low pressure won’t move very much throughout the day, but strong low-level flow out ahead of it is going to make for some VERY windy conditions for nearly the entire route between Denver and Kansas City. A couple of light rain showers are possible in the Denver area during the morning hours as we head our way eastwards into Nebraska, but for the most part the trip today should be dry as the cold front makes its way out of the Four Corners and into the High Plains from Kansas to western Texas.

DAY TWO

The cold front will continue to move through the Central Plains during the overnight into Friday morning, drawing closer to KC. However, most of the precip will remain right along the front, so showers should be of worry as we push eastward through Missouri during the morning hours towards St. Louis. However, winds will continue to be gusty out ahead of the front so keeping the car on the road will require a little bit of attention. By then end of Friday, the cold front will have made its way into Missouri, but winds will be lighter over central TN, where we’re parking in Nashville for the night.

DAY THREE

Once again, it’s a race against the cold front. By morning, rain and thunderstorms will have made their way to Memphis, with a chance of a few spotty showers pushing as far east as Nashville.  Things should dry out as we head southeastward through Atlanta, as high pressure over the East Coast will put the kibosh on any significant amount of showers pushing too far ahead of the front. Winds will be a lot calmer today as well as we push towards FL, due to the high pressure. Mostly clear skies should greet us in Gainesville as we arrive in the late evening. Saturday night in a big college town, surely there will be a couple of parties to relax after a long trip!

Elizabethtown, Kentucky to Denver, Colorado

We’re heading west towards the mountains, perhaps to get in a final ski run for the year. It will be a two day trip covering 1155 miles. We’ll do it at a pace of about 65mph and try to put 520 miles behind us on the first day. We’re looking at a lot of Plains on this trip, but will we be dodging any rain? Let’s find out!

DAY ONE

There is a good chance that we will drive for many miles without seeing a cloud in the sky. As we start hitting some wind, likely around Mount Vernon, Illinois, clouds will begin to increase as moisture from the Gulf picks up. We won’t have many problems with this trip, especially as we drive through St Louis where the 15mph winds will be blocked by higher walls around the interstates. We’ll get to Bates City, Missouri, which is just outside the Kansas City metro for our first day.

DAY TWO
We’re in for a much longer drive on Thursday to make up the rest of the ground. Expect a drive unfettered by things like rain or precipitation. Temperatures are going to climb and perhaps be in the 80s as we trundle off through Kansas, with clouds on the increase and winds nearly constantly blowing at about 20mph. As we arrive in Denver, there is a slight chance that some light rain could be falling in Colorado’s capital. That means snow in the mountains!

Naples, Florida to Beaumont, Texas

Today’s journey will wrap us around the Gulf Coast for a couple of days. It’s a 1054 mile drive, and we will be able to net 533 miles on the first day thanks to a rapid pace of 66mph. Making good time, having a good time. Or something.

DAY ONE

An area of low pressure is developing over the center of the country, and doing so rapidly. Our first day will take place entirely in Florida, and it’s a matter of timing for when that cold front comes crashing into the Florida Peninsula. I say we will see some passing clouds, maybe an occasional area of showers until Ocala, when we are due for the initial wave of heavy thunderstorms. We stand the chance of seeing some heavy weather until at least Live Oak, maybe even all the way to Tallahassee. In Florida, these strong thunderstorms are typically windy systems with occasional small tornadoes, so be on the lookout for that, and keep your hands on the wheel. The day will end in Caryville, which is in the Panhandle.

DAY TWO
After the heavy weather on our first day in the car, it’s going to be a rather pleasant drive on Monday. Behind a cold front, we’ll have a west-northwest flow that will cut the stifling heat that one might expect along the Gulf Coast. Even the humidity will be down somewhat as we arrive in sunny, beautiful Beaumont.