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State College, Pennsylvania to Odessa, Texas

We’re all set for another road trip, this time covering 3 full days, as we head from┬áPennsylvania to west Texas. The mileage will be 1676, which we will cover at a pace of 69.8mph, which means we will blast through the Midwest, covering 558.7 miles a day. Thank you, Eisenhower interstate system! Let’s start the week right, with a trip to Texas!

DAY ONE (Monday)
We’re still enjoying the after effects of a strong cold front that moved through the eastern United States, as temperatures are cool and the air is dry. The atmosphere aloft is still in the grips of a massive trough, that is only getting shorter in wavelength, which means increased perturbation of the atmosphere. A weak bundle of energy moving through the Great Lakes will bring the threat of some light, popcorn showers by the time we hit central Indiana, and we may see some light rain through Indianapolis, but certainly nothing severe, and mostly likely with the sun visible, peaking around the clouds as it rains. We’ll make it to Brazil, Indiana, about 15 miles east of Terre Haute, and call it a night.

DAY TWO (Tuesday)
Any more consternation that the weak Great Lakes feature wants to prolong will be suppressed by the strong dome of high pressure smothering the region. Expect things to remain mostly sunny and still quite dry as we slice through the center of the country, spending time in Illinois and Missouri, passing through St. Louis on our way to the eastern suburbs of Tulsa, where we will caall it a night, still managing to avoid any particularly inclement weather.

DAY THREE (Wednesday)
Things are going to start returning to normal by mid-week. That is to say, expect much warmer weather as an area of low pressure moved into the northern Plains, beginning to draw that summer time heat northward. Along with heat, don’t forget humidity, which will also be on the rise, especially with thunderstorms beginning to emerge on the Gulf Coast. Our route will take us through Oklahoma and Texas, artfully slicing between both stormy features, and we will instead only enjoy the baking heat of the southern Plains. Get some ice cream in Odessa, as you will certainly want some.

Tuscaloosa, Alabama to State College, Pennsylvania

It’s truly not on purpose, but once again, it appears that we have avoided terrible weather for our road trip. We will cover a day and a half, straddling the Appalachians as we move from Alabama to Pennsylvania. The mileage on this trek is 896 miles, which we will proceed at a pace of 64.7mph, which means our first, longer day will necessitate 517.5 miles on day one. Let’s see if we can find State College.

DAY ONE (Sunday)

Now that a cold front has reached the coast, and a nice pool of cool, dry air has settled in over the interior southeast, there isn’t much more you could ask for as a motorist. We should reach the southern end of the Appalachians without any problems, and will enjoy the view through eastern Tennessee and on into western Virginia with a few little dabs of puffy white clouds painted across the sky. We’ll nearly make it to Blacksburg, but will stop for the night in Pulaski.

DAY TWO (Monday)
An upper level trough is rotating its way into the eastern part of North America, a small pool of energy moving through the Great Lakes has, and will continue to kick up some light rain showers. The batch of energy isn’t strong enough to really threaten to overcome any elevated terrain, looking almost like a batch of lake effect snow. At the very end of our day Monday, we might encounter a spot of light rain in State College, but before that, expect mostly sunny skies and perfect temperatures for rolling down the windows.

State College Stays Dry

Temperatures in State College were cool, and the skies were cloudy. There was a system moving through the Great Lakes. Somehow, this math didn’t add up to precipitation in State College, which came as a surprise to each and every one of the forecasters. The Weather Channel had a coolest forecast, which in fact bore out thanks to the overcast skies, and they ended up with the victory.
Actuals: Tuesday – High 42, Low 32
Wednesday – High 46, Low 30

Grade: B

State College, Pennsylvania

To start off the week we head to the home city of Penn State. Let’s see how this week shapes up for them.

At 653pm EST, the temperature at State College, PA was 36 degrees under overcast skies. A weak sort of warm front is found from northern IN into OH and will slowly lift north over the next 12-18 hours, bringing a couple light rain showers to the area. Temperatures will be just cold enough that perhaps a few snowflakes might mix in as well before the precip largely lifts out of the area by midday, but clouds are expected to linger throughout the remainder of the afternoon. A weak ridge of high pressure will shift through the region Tuesday night into Wednesday morning, so a pleasant yet cool night will be in store. Low pressure will be shifting through the Great Lakes on Wednesday morning (which will be giving us snow here in the Twin Cities), but since State College will be in the warm sector throughout the day, the worst they’ll get is some scattered rain showers in the evening. Temperatuers could even make a run at 50 as the warm air streams north! All-in-all, not a terrible couple of days coming up for Central PA, but don’t expect a run on sunglasses anytime soon.

Tuesday: A couple early morning rain showers, perhaps a few snowflakes mixed in. Mainly dry and cloudy during the day. High 47, Low 33.
Wednesday: Increasing clouds through the day, some rain showers late evening. High 48, Low 35.

TWC: Tuesday: Couple of rain/snow showers early, then cloudy. High 42, Low 32.
Wednesday: Afternoon rain showers. High 45, Low 33.

AW: Tuesday: Mostly cloudy with an early shower. High 46, Low 34.
Wednesday: An afternoon shower or two. High 49, Low 35.

NWS: Tuesday: Isolated early morning rain shower, then cloudy through the day. High 46, Low 35.
Wednesday: Scattered showers. High 49, Low 34.

WB: Tuesday: Some morning showers. High 46, Low 31.
Wednesday: Cloudy, then some evening showers. High 49, Low 34.

Considering Accuweather has a ton of alumni from Penn State, they better be right! Here we see some virga/light showers off to the west slowly pushing into the region.

State College, Pennsylvania to Naples Florida

Headed south for Spring Break? Leaving Penn State to hit the beaches of south Florida? Well, it will take you two and a half days to get down there, and you will rack up 1262 miles on the odometer. That will put you at a pace of 62.1mph, which will seems slow for someone driving through Florida. A college student, no less. Tell you what, let’s just shoot for 497 miles a day, shall we?


We will leave State College and immediately be inundated with heavy rain. A system moving out of the Plains is carrying with it a great deal of moisture and warm air. The heavy rain will be with us until we reach about the North Carolina border. When I say heavy rain, I mean models are projecting a couple inches of rain between about State College and Staunton, Virginia. Heavy rain will continue through Roanoke, and it will still be raining, ever so lightly, when we reach Mount Mourne, North Carolina, between Mooresville and Davidson. The threat for thunder is there, especially the further south we go, but nothing will be well organized.

Our trip south continues, and the threat for thunderstorms will likely pick up soon after we arrive in Mount Mourne and last through Midnight. The front will show up a little bit better on Thursday, but will not be as active as the area near the low itself was. There will still be a few showers, especially through South Carolina, but by the time we hit the Georgia border, we will merely contend with a few clouds. The drive through north Florida should be problem free, a nice change of pace from the rainy mess we will see on Wednesday. The day will end in Kendall, Florida, which is just north of Ocala.

Four hours of driving in Florida, which frankly will not take us 4 hours. Folks in Florida drive quite rapidly. There won’t be any weather to deal with, and record warmth will be perfect for rolling down the windows and enjoying the palm trees.

State College, Pennsylvania to Des Moines, Iowa

Hey, another back to back day with the road trips, and we are headed west, young man. Should be an interesting 2 days, covering 884 miles with some inclement weather a certain possibility. This will break down to a speed of 62.7mph, and the first day in the car will cover 501.9 miles. Lets get rolling.


Let’s get this out of the way… a good half of the trip is going to be nasty. We will be in good shape from State College to about Cleveland, but after that, we will encounter a warm front testing the boundary between freezing and not. This is generally a very bad situation, and I don’t suspect tomorrow’s drive will be any different. We will be under the threat for freezing rain from about Cleveland to LaPorte, Indiana. Of course, with a system set up like this, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly how everything will turn out, and there is a chance that there will be regular old rain, some snow or even some sleet (probably the best chance). In any case, it will likely be the worst kind of driving until w eget to Laporte, the destination for Day 1.

If there is any fortunate note to this trip it’s that Sunday will be a much easier day to navigate through Chicago. The weather will have cleared out, and while temperatures will be below freezing, there won’t be any precipitation. In fact, as we approach Des Moines, we will likely see temperatures back in the mid 30s. It will be quite the relief after the mess that Saturday will be.

St. Petersburg, Florida to State College, Pennsylvania

Today we take a jaunt up the Eastern Seaboard, a 1,115-mile trek from St. Petersburg, FL to State College, PA. State College has been in the news a lot lately, not exactly for flattering reasons either. Perhaps the weather when we complete our trip will give the folks there a reason to enjoy the weekend! Let us depart!


We head out of the Tampa/St. Petersburg area in the morning, with some high clouds greeting us on I-75. High pressure is pretty much in control of the entire East Coast, so other than some patchy dense fog over northern FL that’ll burn off before we mosey on through, it should be a pretty pleasant day overall! High clouds will linger over the trip through Eastern Georgia, then up through SC as we settle into Charlotte for the night.


Well, that high pressure ridge is breaking down, leading to more clouds found over the Western Carolinas this morning. The massive snowstorm that’s hitting Colorado/Nebraska will extend it’s tendrils eastward, causing us a few issues perhaps as we exit Charlotte. Most of our trip will negotiate the foothills of the Appalachians, so we’ll be protected somewhat by the rain shadow effect of the mountains, but not by much. Some light showers are possible during the morning as we make our way into Western Virginia, but the frontal system will pretty much stall over NC/VA as we continue northward, so by the time we make our way into Maryland, things should be drying out (albeit cloudy). The rest of our trip into Central PA should be dry and cloudy as the nose of high pressure to the north retains at least some control of the reason. Hooray we made it! Now time to relax and buy some goodies for the big football game!