Here’s When Fall Foliage Will Look Its Best Near You, So You Can Plan Your Leaf Peeping
Technically, we still have a couple of weeks until summer bids us farewell, but with major retailers already rolling out new Halloween items and the buzz about the arrival of pumpkin spice lattes spreading by the day, it’s clear that quite a few people are prepared to embrace the upcoming season.
Fall lovers are undoubtedly looking forward to the usual changes (and an excuse to break those cozy sweaters out of storage), namely when the first huge cool snap will occur and when to expect the fall foliage to transform from lush green into beautiful shades of orange, red and yellow.
In anticipation of the leaf-changing watch, SmokyMountains.com has updated its annual fall foliage predictive map, an interactive, algorithm-based tool that forecasts the exact moment when “peak fall” will arrive at any location in the continental U.S.
So, precisely how accurate is this leaf color-changing predictor? According to data scientist Wes Melton, the factors vary but the map—which is produced from scratch every year—becomes more accurate as time passes.
“Although the scientific concept of how leaves change colors is fairly simple, predicting the precise moment the event will occur is extremely challenging. The major factors impacting peak fall are sunlight, precipitation, soil moisture and temperature. Although we cannot control Mother Nature and ensure 100% accuracy, our data sources are top-tier and each year we refine our algorithmic model achieving higher accuracy over time.”
For anyone interested in finding out when autumn will arrive in all its brilliant colorful glory this year, simply use the date selector at the bottom of the map to see precisely how fall will progress over a particular region in the US. As one of the only fall leaf prediction tools available, the map “will enable travelers to take more meaningful fall vacations, capture beautiful fall photos and enjoy the natural beauty of autumn,” SmokyMountains says. In other words, this map will help fall lovers create lasting vacation memories, snap Instagram-worthy photos and enjoy the season to the fullest.