Five days is the amount of time it will take us to get from the Cascades to the Gulf Coast. It’s not a trip with a nice north to south interstate to spend all of our time on, so there are will be quite a few twists and turns. The two towns are 2652 miles apart, and despite all the twists and turns, we will be able to move at a pace of 63.3mph. The first days of this cross country adventure will have a goal distance of about 506 miles. There is a lot of driving ahead of us, so I vote that we get cracking on it.
Wenatchee will be, and usually is, pretty nice tomorrow as we depart. High pressure and a summery feel will be in the air as we make our way through Washington and Oregon, but unfortunately, we have an upper level trough camped out in the Great Basin. Today, most of hte moisture is hung up in the Sierras, but by the time we reach Idaho, some shower activity will be kicked north. Expect the chance for rain from Nampa to Bliss, which is between Mountain Home and Twins Falls, and our destination for night one of this lengthy excursion.
The upper level wave is going to be moving quick enough that it will be out of the mountains before we are. There is a decent chance that we don’t see any rain at all on Thursday, but it will become increasingly likely we will see clouds as we head deeper into the day, thanks to the turbulence generated by the wave and a little bit of old fashioned diurnal heating. I and about 75% sure we will be dry when we check in to Sinclair, Wyoming, which is just to the east of Rawlins.
Now here is where things get dicey. The lee trough is going to be active. Sure, it isn’t the classic set up for thunderstorms, and some model guidance is way to aggressive with precipitation, given where the air is being drawn from, but it’s looking like a good set up for Low Precipitation Supercells later this week in the plains. They are discrete cells, so there won’t be a ton rain everywhere in eastern Colorado, but if we do encounter a cell, we will likely see strong winds, might see some large hail, and at the very least, we will probably see a tornado chaser or two. LP supercells are always the big draw, because funnel clouds are so well framed, and there isn’t much for them to wreck in western Kansas and eastern Colorado. Activity will really start to pop after about 4pm and will be most likely as we approach Kanorado on the Colorado-Kansas border, but there will be a chance for more isolated storms pretty much anywhere in Colorado. Oh, Wyoming will be fine. Kanorado is our Friday night destination.
Model guidance is still suggesting some showers and storms through western Texas even into Saturday morning. I ain’t buying it. Sure, there will be some debris clouds leftover from collapsed showers and storms, but I don’t think it will be stormy until after we have been driving for a while, and even then, it will be pretty scattered, mostly as we head south from Salina to Wichita. After that, we will free and clear through northern Oklahoma. We’ll shut it down for the day in Tulsa.
The low is going to meekly head into Canada, but before it does that, it will start to initiate a southeasterly flow off of the Gulf through Mobile and the southeast. This will mean it will be steamy when we arrive, and rather foggy and cloudy in the morning before we get there. Don’t be dissapointed that will likely be pretty murky when we wake up at our destination on Memorial Day. Sunday, though, will be a great day for driving.