Oh baby, is this a long road trip. We’re going to take nearly 6 full days to cover the nearly 3000 miles between the endpoints of this trip. Our average speed will be 65.75mph, which means days 1-5 will be through after 526 miles with a shorter day to finish things off. Lots of driving. We’d better depart.
DAY ONE (Tuesday)
I usually opt for the first route option Mapquest recommends, but for some reason, the route proffered was a full hour longer than the 2nd option today. The first route heads east on I-80, but instead, we will head southeast towards Las Vegas. A swirling area of low pressure over the Pacific Northwest will produce showers across the center of the state, mostly triggered by the higher terrain found in the middle of the state. There could be a scattered showers in Tonopah as we head towards Vegas, but the bulk of the trip will be at a low enough elevation that we won’t have to worry about any of those showers or thunderstorms, and the system will be receding from northern Nevada anyways. The drive will end in Golden Valley, Arizona, just outside of Kingman. It will be warm in southern Nevada and northwest Arizona, but definitely palatable for almost anyone.
DAY TWO (Wednesday)
A developing disturbance in south Texas will be lifting north over the next several days. We will encounter the back end of the system almost immediately after we hit the New Mexico border. There will be scattered thunderstorms throughout the western Arizona mountains, though the heaviest will be reserved for the terrain just west of Albuquerque. As we drive through western New Mexico, the low will be lifting north, and the available moisture will be greatly reduced for our route. By the time we his Albuquerque, expect mostly rain showers, without the threat for thunder. The day will end on the east side of Moriarty, which is east of Albuquerque.
DAY THREE (Thursday)
The system will be lifting north northeast towards the Upper Midwest, and it will dry up nicely in Moriarty overnight. We will drive through Amarillo and Wichita Falls in mostly cloudy but dry conditions. A stalled cold front will bring showers to the Metroplex, but we will stop in Alvord, just before we get to the northwestern part of the region. Pretty good timing t head through this part of the country.
DAY FOUR (Friday)
As the low erodes in the Great Lakes, the Gulf of Mexico will be wide open on Friday. There won’t be anything organized, but particularly after we cross into Louisiana west of Shreveport, we may be subject to scattered showers and thunderstorms. From Alexandria southwestward, some of those storms are prone to be soaking and torrential, but they won’t be pervasive, and they won’t move much. This means that we won’t constantly be getting soaked, and we may well see the sun in-between rain showers. Of course, in the midst of the rainfall, there could be flash flooding. Win some, lose some. WE will stop for the night in Sunset, Louisiana, which is just north of Lafayette.
DAY FIVE (Saturday)
This is definitely going to be daytime convection rich. This is still 5 days out, but it appears that the best chance for heavy thunderstorms will be from Biloxi to Pensacola, but that makes sense, because the heaviest convection during the sea breeze season is usually in the afternoon. WE will be between Biloxi and Pensacola during the afternoon. As we start to veer away from the coast, we will still be subject to a chance for thunderstorms, but they won’t be as persistent, though since they will take more energy to trigger, they may be heavier. Before we begin our final southward leg, we will stop for the night in Welborn, Florida, west of Live Oak, east of Lake City.
DAY SIX (Sunday)
This is it! Just one last trip south. There should only be a few pop up thunderstorms, starting around Cape Coral, through most of the convection will be inland of our route. There will be a chance that we could get grazed by one of these cells for the rest of the drive on into Naples. A little bit different than Carson City, is Naples.