Alabama day continues, with a road trip to the first state alphabetically. We’ll be traversing the center of the country, riding the Tennessee Valley from southwestern Michigan to southwestern Alabama. The trip covers 772 miles and will take us a day and a half. We will start by passing through the fringes of the Chicago metro, then will pass through Indianapolis, Louisville, Nashville and Birmingham before getting off the interstate to head towards Auburn. It will take us a day and a half to head through these metropolises at a pace of 61.3mph. The first day, covering about 2/3rds of the trip will only see 490 miles tick off on our odometer, but it’s going to be slowed down by a Friday drive through all those cities.
A strongish system skirting the US border in Canada and a weak upper low with a lot of energy to work with in the Gulf will be putting a squeeze on us as we begin our drive. A cold front with heavier showers and thunderstorms with sometimes gusty winds will be sweeping into Lake Michigan as we head south. We’ll be dry for sure until we get to about Indianapolis, when we’ll be in the northern reach of the instability of the southeast. We should stay dry most of the way through Indiana, but the threat for showers and storms will be there, and will only increase as we had south. There’s a good chance we will see SOME rain by the time we reach Franklin, Tennessee, just south of Nashville and our stop for the night, but given the pattern, it’s tough to say exactly where it’s going to hit us. Most likely somewhere south of the Ohio River, however.
The storms will die off over night, which is nice for any of us that want to sleep. OF course, who wants to do that in a hopping town like Franklin? The storms will take a until after 1 or so to really get going in Alabama and Tennessee, and by that time, we’ll already be on 280 between Birmingham and Auburn. We’ll probably have to dodge a thunderstorm or two in that last hour of the trip, and they will likely be stronger than anything we see on Friday, but there is also a good chance the sun will be shining when we show up in Auburb.