Day three of 4 road trips in a row. This particular excursion will last 3 1/2 days as we head west to east through the Plains and eventually across the Appalachians. Our average speed will be about 65, and we will cover approximately 519.7 miles on days one through three, leaving the rest of the drive for Saturday to account for the remainder of the 1773 miles. Ladies and gents, on your marks, get set, GO
DAY ONE (Wednesday)
The forecast models are looking a lot like summer, that’s for sure. There will be isolated showers and storms across the central Rockies, the first whispers of the seasonal typhoon, while the eastern third of the country is seeing scattered instability showers and storms. In the middle, expect clear skies, as activity will develop in the mountains long after we depart Boulder and the instability thunderstorms will remain east of Kansas, and we won’t even make it to Topeka. The day will end in Riley County, Kansas, where it will be hot, yes, but also dry.
DAY TWO (Thursday)
Model guidance is bad right now. It knows there will be some thunderstorms, but it isn’t doing a great job of articulating exactly where the storms will be coming, or where the activity will be the most intense. It won’t be comprehensively stormy across the region we are driving through, as you may be led to believe. In fact, I would suspect that it will be clearer than it is rainy. Still, there will be a chance of an isolated thunderstorm, of which a few will bring torrential rain, generally east from Columbia, Missouri, east through Lynville, Indiana, which is our Thursday night destination. I think the early part of the day will be dry, thanks in part to the lack of forcing, but also because it will be too early in the day. Like I said, our Thursday destination will be Lynville, northeast of Evansville.
DAY THREE (Friday)
The NAM is usually less reliable with bigger systems, but can be trusted a little bit more in situations such as the one we find ourselves in. It does better with scattered thunderstorms that aren’t necessarily associated with an organized synoptic system. If it is to be believed, and there is really not a good reason not to believe it, we will be dry all the way from Lynville to Mount Airy, North Carolina, up on the Virginia border. It seems more likely that we will see a stray shower at some point, but it will be significantly drier than Thursday was. Chances will increase as the day goes on, save for West Virginia, where I think our ascent into the Appalachians will bring a greater opportunity for an isolated thunderstorm. Again, Friday night will be spent in Mount Airy.
DAY FOUR (Saturday)
There is a legitimate trend across all guidance for some moisture suppression in North Carolina by Saturday. A system developing in the upper levels over North Carolina will really come together over the North Atlantic, and will cycle drier air southward. Even the GFS has the route through the Tar Heel State completely VFR. We’ll see. It’s so far out, and the low is fairly disorganized and weak that there isn’t much confidence in the forecast, but there is a great deal of optimism for a great arrival in Greenville.