Road tripping is sort of en vogue right now, given the potential of coronavirus transmission with air travel, so why not see the country in a week long transnational road trip? It will take us 6 days to get from coast to coast, covering 3200 miles. We’ll average 68mph and nearly 545 miles a day. Right through the center of the country!
DAY ONE (Friday)
Isaias has long departed the Eastern Seaboard, but the remainder of a weak surface trough still lingers in the mid-Atlantic,and is continuing to threaten the area with showers and storms from Long Island to Florida. Inland, those storms are filtering towards the mountains, beginning to rise up with the elevation and raining out at higher terrain. For our purposes, that means a threat of rain as we approach the Catskills. The threat for isolated rain and thunder will linger until about Oneida, with clearing skies returning until we arrive at Batavia, between Buffalo and Rochester, and our destination for the day.
DAY TWO (Saturday)
On the other side of the Appalachians, life is good. High pressure has taken care of the Great Lakes and is doing a good job of suppressing Gulf moisture and shunting systems from the Plains to the north. Not a bad day to drive through Ohio. We’ll end in Hammond, Indiana, in the Chicago region.
DAY THREE (Sunday)
As we move west, the ridge will shift east, opening the Mississippi Valley up to the Gulf’s moisture. The Sunday drive will be soupy. Scattered spots of drizzle might be possible with the rising warm air in Illinois, but it should clear out through Iowa. Unfortunately, the sunny skies and humidity will only be priming the region for strong thunderstorms, of which a few might arrive in eastern Nebraska just as we are passing through Omaha and Lincoln. Severe weather is a strong possibility as we pull off the highway in Milford, just west of Lincoln.
DAY FOUR (Monday)
After a stormy evening in Nebraska, it should improve dramatically as we cross the windswept prairie of Nebraska and enter the windswept hills of Wyoming. Some monsoon thunderstorms may be seen on the horizon over the peaks in Colorado, but our route should be dry. We will end near Walcott, but most of southern Wyoming is all the same, so who knows!
DAY FIVE (Tuesday)
There isn’t going to be too much difference on Tuesday. Generally, the drive will be just fine, but in slopes, there could be a stray thunderstorm associated with the seasonal monsoon. It shouldn’t be an enormous concern, with the largest issue being dust from downdrafts in dry storms west of Salt Lake City. Our day will conclude in Elko, which, yes, does have some casinos. No, you probably shouldn’t go, what with the pandemic and all.
DAY SIX (Wednesday)
The monsoon doesn’t really reach as far west as the Sierras, and we should get on the road before we have to deal with the afternoon storms around Elko. Smooth sailing into Napa, then. Heck, we even get to approach from Sacramento, which is a heck of a lot easier than coming from San Francisco.