WRITTEN BY: ALEX BROWN
There’s a reason most van-lifers reside along the stretch of U.S. coast between southern Washington and San Diego. If you’re Canadian or belong to the American Midwest, your road-trip hourglass contains half as much sand as someone from Los Angeles or even Portland, for one obvious reason: nobody wants to live out of their vehicle (let alone drive) in the middle of January. Let’s just say Midwesters and East Coasters spend significant time on Google Maps gauging the logistics of a mid-winter dash to Florida or Tennessee.
Brian Brettschneider, a climatologist based in Anchorage, Alaska, has long wondered if it’s possible to map a route across North America that offers perfect weather every day of the year. If like Brettschneider, your idea of “perfect weather” is about 70°F (21°C), then the answer is, yes. The climatologist took advantage of his curiosity to plot out the ideal North American road-trip, spanning 9,125 miles of endless summer heat.
Brettschneider admits that predicting the weather is fickle business, however it’s possible to get close by resourcing average temperatures of the past using a climate almanac, or for the U.S. specifically, the data provided by the National Center for Environmental Information (NCEI).
“The daily normal high temperature is computed for over 8,000 stations all across the United States. In addition, Environment Canada publishes monthly normals for stations across the Great North. (Note: “normal” is a technical term that refers to a smoothed average for a 30-year period. It is close to an arithmetic average but not exactly the same),” says Brettschneider on his US-Climate blog.
Brettschneider admits there is much contention over what constitutes an “ideal temperature,” arming himself against the inevitable rabble of disgruntled snowbirds who won’t settle for anything less than oppressive, blood-curdling heat. So, alternatively, if you’re looking to char your skin into a tawny glaze of year-long 80 degree sun, Brettschneider has provided a secondary road trip itinerary. If only Brettschneider could map the perfect excuse for taking a year off work.