2013 fall foliage forecast-March
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Welcome to my 2013 Fall foliage forecast for March 2013.

First off we’re going to look at a quick 2012 fall foliage synopsis. The weather in 2012 was showing .5 to 1.5 degrees above normal and below normal precipitation. Hell!, there was drought across most of the US.

2012 temps above and precipitation below normal

What we saw up here in New England was daytime temps, slightly above the normal range and the night time temps (and this is key) during Sept, approached the low 40s. These temps didn’t just happen in northern New England. They happened all the way south to Rhode island and Connecticut!.

This resulted in spotty, early fall foliage colors across New England and not just the northern parts.

The below average precipitation was with us until 3 Oct when we had on and off rain for 7-10 days. This provided awesome peak fall foliage colors during the 1-2 October dates when I was in the northern white mountains. Producing color like this:

Fall foliage surrounds the Stark Covered Bridge is located on Northside Rd in Stark Village, Stark NH,  the Stark covered bridge crosses the Ammonoosuc River.

A view of the Stark covered bridge with the church and fall foliage colors in the background

Over those two days in Oct I saw more peak fall foliage colors than I had in ten years of searching… :-)

2012 Fall foliage final results?

The color was more intense, **where it had time to turn** but the continuous daily rains slowed the progression.

What does 2013 hold for us?

A rock wall runs along the feet of several maples

A patch of bright red highlighted by morning sunshine

First as I look at New England’s “observed” weather so far this winter (2012/2013), I see good rain/snow amounts. This means that going into spring we have the ground saturated and it should be a good early growing season in the North east.

The lakes, ponds and reservoirs should be full as we hit May and June. So we have reserves to draw on. (if needed)

I’m looking forward at the time period, March through October 2013.  While I’m still seeing some drought conditions persisting in the central Texas to Oklahoma (it also touches the other central states. Over all the drought conditions should be much less that 2012…


Historical data holds hope!

A multi-hued maple in front of an old barn.

A multi-hued maple in front of an old barn on 1 Oct

There is data, only going back to 2005 but there seems to be a pattern of wet going to drier years. If the pattern holds true then we may have another “drier” October. This doesn’t mean, **no rain** but I’m hoping that, what rain we do get, will be balanced.

The NOAA Climate prediction maps are showing an equal chance of either above normal, normal or below normal rainfall. The Farmers almanac says a drier October and this has me optimistic.

How does this help you make plans?

in sugar Hill a barn painted red with orange and yellow Maples in front of the white doors

red barn with orange and yellow Maples in full autumn color

First, I believe we may see a more balanced rainfall, where we don’t see a week or more of rain, at one time sitting over New England. (fingers crossed) :-)

These are links  for the March through Oct weather maps for the NOAA climate prediction folks. They don’t see us getting a deluge of rain this year based on El Niño/La Niña forecasts.

What no one can say is in what amounts the rain, we do get, will show up in. Will we get it all in a week, or “Balanced”, a day here and a day there…

My next fall foliage forecast will be around June.. so stay tuned…

Jeff “Foliage” Folger
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