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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.