Fort Collins, Colorado to Kennewick, Washington

What a lovely, winding mountain drive we get to take this week, running from Fort Collins to Kennewick. It will take two mountain filled days to get from Colorado to Washington, covering a road distance of 1035 miles. This will mean a pace of 67.7mph, thanks to a route that eschews large population centers. The first day will be longer, and will cover 541 miles of the interior west, leaving a shorter day to enjoy the scenery in the Pacific Northwest.

DAY ONE (Friday)

Fort Collins, Colorado

The two most magical words to any road tripper concerned about the weather are going to apply to our Friday drive. “High Pressure” It will be pleasant and seasonably warm as we hit 4 states on Friday. Most of the time will be spent in Wyoming, a considerable amount in Utah, with our endpoints starting in Colorado and Idaho. You will be able to see for miles in Juniper, Idaho, in the southern part of the state, and the destination for our first day of travel.

DAY TWO (Saturday)
Low pressure arriving from the Gulf of Mexico will not be as cooperative as the high pressure from Friday. Not much precipitation often finds its way inland, so we won’t see heavy precipitation, but we will certainly see some rain between Caldwell, Idaho, a western suburb of Boise, and La Grande in northeast Oregon. Subsident air on the lee side of the Cascades will clear things up for us once again as we arrive in Kennewick. It will probably be clearer and a little more crisp, but what else do you want in the high terrain?

Kennewick, Washington

Kennewick, Washington to Greenville, North Carolina

Are you ready for a lengthy trek cross country? We are heading from the northwesternmost state in the land to the eastern part of North Carolina, and will take us 5 days to make that trip. This is the perfect summer road trip, if you ask me. The mileage will hit 2810 miles, for a pace of about 67mph, with the first 4 days ending after about 535 miles, with a 10 hour day coming on Sunday. Let’s get to North Carolina by the end of the weekend, shall we?

DAY ONE (Wednesday)

Kennewick, Washington

Sometimes, in the eastern-US focused weather community, we forget that in the summer, that constant thunderstorm threat we are used to just doesn’t exist for a big part of the early summer. Such is the case this week in the Pacific Northwest. Quiet weather will allow us to take in the scenery from Washington, through Oregon and Idaho until we reach Howell, in the Utah panhandle.

DAY TWO (Thursday)
The seasonal monsoon is preparing to develop in the southern Rockies, and indeed some guidance is pointing towards thunderstorms in the Colorado Rockies. Fortunately, we will not be traversing the Colorado Rockies, instead passing through Wyoming before ending up in Bushnell, in far western Nebraska. Rain is not expected to obscure our day.

DAY THREE (Friday)
Nebraska us a long, arduous state to pass through by car, but if you like driving and identifiable benchmarks, then Nebraska is for you. We’re headed off the road for Nebraska City, then south through Iowa and Missouri, where we will stop in St. Joseph. Nebraska is going to be in fine shape. Lingering humidity will likely lead to morning fog, that I would hope will burn off by the time we reach St. Joseph.

DAY FOUR (Saturday)
A slow moving, lingering trough extending into the Ohio Valley will make things a bit drearier on Saturday. By the time we reach southern Illinois, clouds with a stray sprinkle will become increasingly likely, with a rogue stroke of lightning not out of the questions. This will continue eastward, as we call it a day in Carefree, Indiana, which is west of Louisville.

DAY FIVE (Sunday)
It’s just the time of year, but more wet weather will be possible on either side of the Appalachian range, but with low pressure developing in the Great Lakes, the better chance for rain or even a rogue thunderstorm will come up in eastern Kentucky and before we reach Charleston in West Virginia. There will be a healthy rain shadow in North Carolina, but we are headed far enough east, some oceanic flow will lead to isolated storms along the coast, including in Greenville, as we arrive, exhausted, at the end of our long day, at the end of our long trip.

Greenville, North Carolina