6 days! Almost an entire week to cover the country. The 6th day will be a half day, but that’s still a long trip. It’s 2919 miles between the nexuses of our trip, and we will cover those at a rate of 530.5 miles a day, otherwise known as 66.3 miles an hour. Whew! Let’s head out for this extended voyage.
Something unusual: The rainiest leg of our trip will be the drive through northern California. The system that’s been parked over the north Pacific will continue to pump moisture inland, but we will set forth on our journey between the heaviest the heaviest bands of activity. The precipitation rates will pick up on the western exposures of the Sierras. Mountain snow will be very heavy through the day. Several feet of snow will fall on the peaks and some snow will likely fall in the lower elevations, probably slowing our drive through the Donner Pass by Truckee, but as we descend into Nevada, all the nasty weather will be behind us, both geographically and chronologically. We will continue through Nevada to the town of Halleck, Nevada, which is east of Elko.
That Pacific Low is finally making it’s way into the Pacific Northwest, and a final, aggressive batch of rain and mountain snow is moving into the country. Our rate will be marked by rain and mountain snow moving southeast. Through the rest of Nevada and probably until we reach the Great Salt Lake, I think we will stay dry, but clouds to our north will remain grey and ominous. We will move into the Wasatch and mountains of western Wyoming, and we will start to see a change. Rain will fall at the low elevations, but as we ride out of Utah’s capital, we will begin to see mixed precipitation and some occasionally heavy wet snow. Given the wind that may pick up, there is a better than 0 chance that they might close I-80 through this part of the world, so we better make sure we hit Wyoming before that. We will make it out of the wet weather around Table Rock, with clearing skies, the calm before the storm, when we arrive in Walcott, Wyoming, east of Rawlins.
An area of low pressure will shunt off from the bigger broader system in the northwest and move through Canada. It will begin to tap into Gulf moisture, as a cold front develops in the eastern Iowa, and wraps a great deal of energy into the parent low, skirting the international border. What does this mean for us? The drive through the rest of Wyoming and across Nebraska will be pretty east. I would hate to be in Winnipeg on Monday though. Our drive will end in a different W town, Waco, Nebraska between Seward and York.
The trip will continue to be blessed by good weather. Eastern Nebraska and Iowa will fly by like nothin’! Even most of Illinois will be fairly unremarkable. It may get a little blustery as we approach Joliet, southwest of Chicago, but the low continues to ride north of the Great Lakes and the front will become increasingly active, but well ahead of our position on the road. (Oh, and Joliet is our nightly destination).
Already Wednesday as we hit this leg of the journey. It will be fairly chilly over the southern Great Lakes behind our front, mentioned over the past two days now. If there is any element of a northwesterly flow off of Lake Erie, don’t be surprised to see some light snow in Cleveland east through Pennsylvania, but our stop for the night, SB Elliot State park, nestled in the high country of western Pennsylvania, so snow isn’t terribly likely for our night.
Things are looking pretty good in Pennsylvania as well. Systems tend to languish along the coast, but not the one we have been chasing all week! Skies will be clear through out our route, and really, the only problems we will have with this trip will be the traffic as we attempt to navigate Manhattan.