March Madness is kicking off tomorrow, and you’re all ready to relax and take in the dozens of games about to be played. But wait, you have to do a surprise 2,108-mile, 4-day long trip to visit the in-laws?! What were they thinking?! Better hit the road quickly, so we can catch some of the late-game action at the hotels!
We start steaming eastward out of Tucson along I-10, making quick work of Arizona before we make it into New Mexico. A large trough is pushing its way through the West Coast today, bringing plentiful rains and high mountain snows to the Northern Rockies and portions of the Great Basin. Luckily, only some higher clouds will affect our travel past Las Cruces and into the westernmost part of Texas. A system developing over the Northern Plains has a strong southerly flow feeding into it. Western Texas is prone to some very high winds, with Guadalupe Pass experiencing many events a year where the wind blows over 50mph. We won’t see anything like that, but could see a few gusts as we make our way onto I-20 and into Monahans for the evening. Ideally we would have stopped 20-30 miles further back at Pecos, but sadly, it looks like there’s nowhere to stay there for the night!
We can call this the I-20 day, since all 515 miles we’ll travel today en route to Longview will be along this stretch of interstate. An area of high pressure is parked over the Gulf Coast, and is deflecting a frontal system over the Northern US away from the region. An area of low pressure is developing over the Central Plains along the tail end of the front that’s draped from the Great Lakes down to the KS/OK area. Luckily for us, this area of low pressure won’t really be able to develop fully and fizzles out. There could be a low deck of clouds over portions of Central TX in that flow feeding the aforementioned system, but should lift by the afternoon hours. The biggest issue as we drive past Midland and continue on by Abeline, will continue to be gusty winds, to the tune of 20-30mph at times from the southwest. There’s a slight chance of a scattered shower or two, but these should be few and far between, with mostly cloudy skies continuing through a good portion of the day. Winds will die down by evening as we make our way past Dallas and into far eastern TX, winding down the day about 30-40 miles from the LA border
Today we head eastward into Louisiana, with some cloudy skies greeting the start of our day. While the high pressure that’s been sitting over the Southeast the last couple of days is shrinking, it continues to dominate the weather over the area. Clouds should burn off fairly quickly this morning as we pass Shreveport and Monroe and continue into southwest Mississippi. Winds shouldn’t be a problem today, as it looks like light winds and mostly sunny skies will entertain us as we drive past Jackson by midday, then continue back Meridian and take a northeast jog into Alabama, finally winding down the evening in Birmingham, covering 513 miles today.
Last day of the trip! Some patchy fog is possible as we start the day off, but should burn off shortly after sunrise. While high pressure is now controlling much of the Eastern US, the weak end of a cold front is dropping through the Carolinas into Georgia today. Clouds will increase as we progress east out of Birmingham towards Atlanta, with perhaps a brief, light shower between Atlanta and the South Carolina border. While clouds will continue to last overhead as we make our way past Greenville, SC and into North Carolina, our remainder of day should be dry. A system towards the northwest will bring rain showers to the OH Valley, but won’t be able to get far enough south to affect the final push our day past Greensboro and into Danville.