This is going to be an extended journey. It will take 6 days to cross the country and cover 3006.47miles. This is a classic cross country trip though, taking us right through Chicago. Most of the drive will be through the stark wilderness of the western United States, though. As a result, we will anticipate a speed of 66.4mph on I-80, which means the first 5 days will see the odometer tick off 531 miles. Can we expect anything to spoil the view of those purple mountains’ majesty or amber waves of grain.
DAY ONE (Friday)
You should see the satellite and radar imagery across the Great Basin. The Sierras and northern Nevada are simply lit up with lightning strikes. The disturbed weather doesn’t look like it will be so far to the west tomorrow, and our passage over the Sierras should be pretty uneventful. We should be all right in western Nevada as well, I think, but showers and storms will erupt east of Winnemucca. There will be plenty of clearing between the storms, which will be great for a light show in the heavens. We will stop east of Battle Mountain in the colorfully named Mosquito Canyon.
DAY TWO (Saturday)
It will take until the mid afternoon for thunderstorms to fire up on Saturday, which will mean a few good hours of driving before we might see some convection. The threat will be greatest during our jaunt through Utah, with a shower or storm in Salt Lake City not out of the question. The threat will end abruptly as we cross into southwestern Wyoming, though, after we descend out of the Wasatch, and our arrival in Red Desert, about halfway between Rock Springs and Rawlins, will be dry. Enjoy it for the night.
DAY THREE (Sunday)
We should dodge the showers on Sunday during the day, save for a few developing showers around Cheyenne. An area of low pressure will be developing in the lee of the Colorado Rockies, and interacting with a system centered over western Ontario. The heavy showers and thunderstorms will be erupting along the Nebraska border, but we will be to at least Big Springs by the time things really start popping. It will be quite warm in Nebraska, primed for those thunderstorms out in the western part of the state. When we stop in Shelton, Nebraska, between Kearny and Grand Island, we better find some air conditioning.
DAY FOUR (Monday)
Monday will be a noisy day. It will start from the time we get up, when leftover convection from the night before will still be raging in Shelton. A now fully realized and active cold front moving through Iowa will bring the threat for showers and thunderstorms throughout our day. Most likely, there will be a squall at the leading edge of the boundary, which will race quickly to the east, keeping us in the rain shield behind it. Assuming we can navigate any traffic tie ups caused by the storm ,we wil likely breach the leading edge of the storm around Moline and get about an hour of drier driving until we stop in Princeton, Illinois.
DAY FIVE (Tuesday)
While the stretch from Angola, Indiana to Toledo, Ohio will be fairly stormy, the rest of the journey looks much better on Tuesday than it did on Monday. Expect mostly clear skies in the wake of the front through Chicago, but after we catch up with the boundary, the threat for rain will remain with us through the rest of the drive. That rain wouldn’t otherwise be there, but as we approach the higher terrain of western Pennsylvania, it’s what we must deal with. the day will end north of Pittsburgh, with a little bit of overcast and some drizzle, in Cranberry Township.
DAY SIX (Wednesday)
The boundary will be fairly broken down and diffuse upon its arrival in Pennsylvania, however with the mountains through the state, it will still be an efficient rain producer. Expect rain and thunder to accompany us through the Keystone State, though not much of it will be severe.That activity will have a tough time sustaining itself in south Jersey, which means a potential for drier conditions when we arrive in Vineland.