A last-minute assist from Mother Nature is not likely enough to produce colorful fall foliage displays in one area of the country known for its prolific seasonal scenery, but leaf-peepers in places nearby can expect a treat this year.
After the third-hottest summer in the United States on record, many Americans are ready for the arrival of cooler air this fall and everything else the season brings with it. Some people consider autumn to be the best time to get out of the house and enjoy all the beauty nature has to offer. The gorgeous, vibrant colors put on a display like no other before the trees shed their leaves for the long winter ahead.
As the first day of astronomical fall draws closer, families may start thinking about taking trips to admire the colorful landscapes transformed by the fall foliage. However, the lack of rainfall across certain popular viewing areas might put a damper on some plans. The fall foliage forecast, released this week by the long-range meteorologists at AccuWeather, offers insights to leaf-peepers on the ideal locations to admire the beautiful colors.
Some of the most popular places to enjoy fall foliage across the Northeast and Appalachians are expected to be duller than in years past thanks to a lack of rainfall this summer.
According to AccuWeather’s Lead Long-Range Forecaster Paul Pastelok, many trees became stressed this summer across eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, southeastern New York, and southern and central New England due to the lack of precipitation. These areas have had below-normal rainfall, which has resulted in a moderate to severe drought, especially in southern New England, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.
The region did get some rain later in the summer, but it was a little too late to help the stressed trees, according to Pastelok.
Fall foliage is expected to underperform from Boston to New York City following early leaf drops likely due to the lack of summer rainfall. As of early September, leaves have already started to turn brown and crispy across parts of Connecticut and Rhode Island.
However, the foliage will not be a bust across the entire Northeast.
The best ingredients for fall foliage are cool air and ample summer moisture and cooler, drier falls, according to Pastelok. A surplus of late-summer rainfall across northern New England has set the region up for a colorful and vibrant foliage season.
For places like Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and northern New York, the peak of the foliage occurs in late September and the first week of October. However, Pastelok believes the pinnacle of color could be reached closer to the second or third week of October, which is similar to last year.
AccuWeather, recognized and documented as the most accurate source of weather forecasts and warnings in the world, has saved tens of thousands of lives, prevented hundreds of thousands of injuries and tens of billions of dollars in property damage. With global headquarters in State College, PA and other offices around the world, AccuWeather serves more than 1.5 billion people daily to help them plan their lives and get more out of their day through digital media properties, such as AccuWeather.com and mobile, as well as radio, television, newspapers, and the national 24/7 AccuWeather Network channel. Additionally, AccuWeather produces and distributes news, weather content, and video for more than 180,000 third-party websites.
AccuWeather staff writer