Today we embark on a lengthy, 1873-mile road trip from Kansas City, Missouri to Corvallis, Oregon. One of my friends recently moved from Corvallis back to the Twin Cities, and is competing in the Boston Marathon. Will the weather along this route be as pleasant and it will be in the Northeast? Away we go!
A large low pressure system will be shifting over the Western US over the next 24 hours, creating quite the unsettled weather pattern for our trek. A stationary front is expected to be parked north of Kansas City Monday morning, from Nebraska eastward to the Ohio Valley. It’ll probably be a cloudy start to the day as we head northward out of KC towards Nebraska City, then start heading west on I-80 once we make it to Lincoln. Once we make it to central Nebraska, the low pressure will stretch from Wyoming to western Kansas, and is expected to start kicking up heavier rain showers and thunderstorms over the High Plains. A wet and possibly stormy end to the day is on top as we pull into Sidney, Nebraska, our stop for the first night.
Lingering rains are expected for the start of the day as we start off westward towards Wyoming. Low, gloomy clouds are anticipated with upslope flow over the High Plains, so we shouldn’t have to worry too much about the sun today. Precip will start to scatter out some as we pass Cheyenne and continue into the mountains of Southern WY, but with colder air being sucked in behind it, there’s a chance we could see some snow showers during portions of the afternoon as we chug past Reliance and Green River and continue into northern Utah. Our biggest worry is if the precip will be out of Utah before we get there, since we could possibly see some significant snow showers over the mountains east of Salt Lake City during the late afternoon/early evening hours. It looks like most of it should be dwindling down by that point, but will definitely have to keep and eye on it. We finish the day in Ogden, just north of Salt Lake City.
A somewhat more pleasant start to this shorter day as we make our way northward out of Utah into southern Idaho. Clouds are still expected as the overall boundary continues to sit over the region, but should be dry during the morning hours. Another impulse of low pressure is pushing near the West Coast, and is expected to push moisture out ahead of it as we get onto I-86 in the southern valley of Idaho and continue towards Boise. A few light rain showers are possible as we continue northwestward, but should remain on the light side as we pass into Oregon and finish the day in Baker City.
As luck would have it, most of the precip with yesterday’s low pressure system will have passed east of us during the overnight, so while it’ll be yet another cloudy start, only a few lingering rain showers are expected as we continue along I-84 towards Portland. Clouds will clear out some as we push into the afternoon and as we turn southward out of Portland to Corvallis, the weather should be fairly pleasant and rain-free, a terrific end to our trip through the mountains!