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This is my first Fall Foliage Forecast for 2015banner with new england fall colors over cemetery

I’ve found that everybody comes to this page first so I’m creating it as a landing page. Below you will find my first fall foliage forecast  (better known as a prediction) for 2015. After that you will find a section that will list each update during the rest of the year.. Questions? leave a comment!

First Fall Foliage Forecast (prediction) for 2015

My first consideration is NOAA with their Climate Prediction and how the fall foliage forecast shapes up 9 months out. Second I look to Yankee Magazine and their Old Farmers Almanac site.

In my 2014 recap I made a tentative 2015 fall foliage forecast, where I mentioned that the folks at NOAA were calling for “mild” El Niño conditions for the 2014/15 winter.

What this should mean is lots of snow and a warmer winter. Well our December was one of the warmest in recent history with no real cold (20F) until after Christmas and it was the 10th rainiest in Boston since record keeping was started. So they were pretty close so far

The current El Niño forecast is calling for average precipitation and above average temps through March. Many New Englanders may be doing their happy dance at this point but it may only mean the temperatures will be in the upper 20s to the low 30s and lots of heavy, wet snow. Hmmm. I think the pitter, patter of happy feet is fading away.

I’ve looked at NOAA’s predictions for the Northeast and it’s pretty much consistent through November. All of their forecasts call for above average temps and average rainfall and what this could mean is trouble!

Now the OFA Forecast

The fall colors lead the eye to the Canterbury Shaker Meeting House

Canterbury Shaker Meeting House

The Old Farmer’s Almanac is calling for an above average snow fall and cold up through March. June through August will be hot and MOST importantly they say! September and October will be warmer and slightly wetter than normal.  These are not optimal conditions for the fall colors to develop.

The Old Farmer’s almanac has a funny little video if you want to click this link on this years weather forecast.

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My thoughts for this autumn and the fall colors

foliage forecast, A fire tower view of the hills in Milan State Park

Rainy day view from the fire tower

I suggest you read my July 2014 fall foliage forecast, why you may ask? I’m glad you brought this up. :-)  Basically I thought we were heading for the best fall foliage season ever in 2014. We had seasonally average temps and average rainfall forecast, so all was good, right?

Even with all that going for us and we had cool temps in Sept which started us off with great colors in mid to late September, a weak El Niño started to affect us and it rain weekly all of October. This combined with temperatures that never really got chilly enough meant the colors took their time developing. (If at all and always a bad thing)

So the really bright brilliant fall colors that developed in late September to the first few days in October were knocked down by the first rains. Then before they could really regain their brilliance, they were hit with more rain. If you’ve read through my blog for any time at all, you will know this is my biggest concern for our fall colors. So that was 2014, what about 2015?

The bottom line for fall foliage

After fixing some exposure issues the golden morning light was more the way I remember should should the

tips for improving fall foliage – Same Raw image after some post processing.

At this point, I feel we’re going to have good colors this fall, based on the current forecast conditions. It may be a repeat of 2014 with weekly rains affecting the fall colors. Which means you need a plan “B” for your fall foliage vacation. please read my planning articles (the right side of the page that says planning) to get ideas on how to prepare for rains or worse during your autumn exploration of New England. Not to mention locations to explore!

I do need to reiterate!!! The margin of error here is massive! I mean its 9 months away, so you need to keep checking back each month. OR, you can subscribe to my blog (top center of this page) and all my articles will be sent to your and you won’t have to bookmark my blog (but please do).

I also have a New England fall foliage Facebook page that a lot of people like to check in with me on. I also love to see other people’s images posted there and some of them I will share to the front of the page to make sure everyone sees them. So come in and show us what your autumn explorations were like!

You can also find me on Twitter

This section will show links (down below) for each of my fall foliage forecasts that I write in the coming months. The list will update automatically so you can bookmark this page or subscribe to my blog and each of the forecasts will be delivered to you email inbox.

Fall Foliage Forecasts 2015 Newest on top!

2015 foliage Forecast

Forecasts for the coming season based on long range weather forecasts from the NOAA climatology and prediction center.

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Jeff Foliage

My name is Jeff Folger,
but people call me Jeff Foliage.
I have several pages that I write blogs for such as: http://www.4cornersnewengland.com/
My most popular blog is for Leaf peepers: Jeff Foliage.com.
I live in Salem, Massachusetts and work as a blogger and Travel Photographer. I'm also the founder of the New England Photography Guild.
Feel free to visit me on my blogs and see what life in New England is like.

I started with Yankee Magazine as their first blogger on everything fall foliage. Now I blog on my own blog on my favorite subject, telling leaf peepers where the fall foliage is showing up in New England and helping them (to some extent) plan their fall foliage vacations.

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Comments

Fall Foliage Forecast 2015 — 18 Comments

  1. Hi Jeff,

    I’d love you to look into your crystal ball and let me know when I should book a one-dayer at the Mount Washington Hotel to experience the best foliage!!

    Thank you for this wonderful website.

    Best,
    Lynne

    • Well the crystal ball is leaning towards a little later that the last few years. Or more normal dates… (Let me get my magic dart and the calendar… January 2016??? I need some new darts… :-)
      5 Oct 2015 should be looking pretty good in that neck of the woods. Barring hurricanes, rain storms, wind storms or a heat wave with nothing but cloudy days for the month prior. IF we don’t have to worry about all of that, and if Mother Nature is gentle on us then this area of the White mountains should be at high color, dare I say Peak? :-) Well lets not push my luck to much… I’ll go with good color on the 5th.

      We’ll see what Sept brings to us… :-) Also when you check in, check with the concierge to see if they are still have the free gondola rides for leaf peeping in style!

  2. I am trying to plan a trip to the New England states for the fall, we will fly into Buffalo and rent a car and be driving the rest of the time up to Vermont, Conn, and Maine. What weeks do you suggest for the best colors ??

    • Hi Sherry, you’re the winner with the first comment/question of 2015!
      This is a tricky one because Vermont will be the last week in Sept through 1st week in Oct for the northern third the next week you’re looking at the middle third and then the southern third. You don’t say anything about New Hampshire so lets say you drive straight across (One big note there are NO main highways that go east to west in Vermont/New Hampshire and Maine. They all go North/southish Eith look in Google maps to see what I mean. Route 3 or Route 2 look big but they’re one lane each way and while scenic (very) They are not speedy…

      I’m hoping you’ll add more info And I’ll put this out now, that if anyone else has an opinion, they are welcome to add to the comment…!

      Maine in the waaaaay far north has been turning in late sept But I’m talking a 2-3 day journey. and on 28 Sept last year, Greenville ME, was peak but Katahdin state park was not and it’s farther north than Greenville. It’s hard to explain why this happens but it does and it depends on what areas and valleys get frost first and lower temps without hard freezes (which can turn the leaves straight to brown).

      Then you are driving back to CT. Connecticut turn in Mid Oct to early November.

      I hope you see the issues here. It really depends on what you want to see in VT and ME and CT. If you go from Buffalo to southern VT through southern NH, into southern coastal Maine and back through central southern Massachusetts and down into CT then your dates could be more compressed. Maybe 15 through 21 Oct…

      A. you need to decide on sights you want or have to see.
      B. you have to decide how long you want to be on the road
      C. How long each day you want to travel.

      These items will help you focus on the most important details. Also here is the link to my archives page [http://www.jeff-foliage.com/archives/] on the right side of the page are the majority of planning articles and they will help in this process…
      I look forward to hearing more about your plans.

      • Hi Jeff,
        Having never seen the New England Colors, I was just wondering does this record breaking snowfall have any impact on your forecasting for this year?
        Thanks,
        Lynda

        • You Know Lynda, it could, let me take a close look at my crystal ball… Hmmmm I do see a great disruption in the force, like a million voices… Oh wait a minute I left my crystal ball set to Netflix and it was channelling Star Wars IV… Nope! Not unless the snow sticks around past April or May… :-) Then we have a whole other set of worries and the lack of the fall colors will be low on that list.

          A good hard winter is fine. As long as we get a spring followed hopefully by a summer, then I predict the fall will follow. All things being equal, we are getting a good amount of rainfall in all this white stuff and that could mean very healthy trees going into spring and summer. Lots of snow also means the crops should have lots of moisture and that is good for the farmers and orchards and so forth…

          The only down side to the snow besides, no where to put it, may be some damaged branches here and there but I don’t see whole tracks of forests getting wiped out by a few blizzards…

  3. For Lincoln, New Hampshire and Dennis Port, Massachusetts, would you recommend the week of October 11, 2015 or October 18, 2015? We are coming from Michigan.
    Love your pictures.

    • Hi Ila,
      Ok first, you need to look at the distance between the two locations One will have color (Lincoln NH) and the other won’t develop for weeks.

      Color develops in Lincoln in the past couple of years around the 1st of Oct but it generally will be good through Columbus Day weekend. The problem is the weather the past few years has done this disturbing trend of raining once a week and even if you get very light rains and light winds, it tends to take down the brightest colors..

      Brightest colors are akin to cake that is ready to come out of the oven. It’s ready! and the same goes for the leaves. They are ready for the lightest breeze to bring them down. Someone asked about global warming (you can also look for El`Nino which affected us this past Oct)

      I’m not saying don’t come for a visit but that week of 11 Oct may be a little late for Lincoln (a warm Sept 50-60s at night then right on time).

      NOW… your second date will be better for the cape and Dennis Port (Not saying it will be warm or balmy days). The cape for where you get color will be turning. Remember it’s an entirely different ecosystem down on the cape compared to the White mountains. Oaks and white pines are the rule and Maples are hard to find. I’ve found gorgeous red oaks as scarlet in the afternoon sunshine as any group of maples in Vermont.

      But! you haven’t mentioned your plans so maybe you are planning on visiting the little shops and walks along the white sandy beaches. Several lighthouses can be found east or west of there so your options are wide open. Just check with the hotel/B&B and ask them what is still open for your dates. It will be much quieter during this visit as most tourists have gone for the season.

      With good weather it will be wonderful.

      We are still very early in the year and my crystal ball is still getting warmed up (a little hazy in January and much better in August) But your two locations are diametrically opposed for either set of dates unless you forget color on the cape and just treat that as a vacation. relaxing on the beaches is a great way to end the vacation. (IMHO)

      • There are tons of places to get great shots in the fall up here. We invested in a drone to do some aerial photos this year, can’t wait! Foliage last year was peak late in the season compare to 2013

        • In a normal year I would be up that way around the 17th of October to the 25th. 2013/14 both had cool Septembers which caused early turning but then Oct warmed up and had weekly rain events… so we started early and ended long… Coming up depends on whether I’m working or not. No Job means freedom but it also means no gas money.. :-(

  4. Pingback: 2014 New England fall foliage forecast - New England fall foliage

    • Thanks Nancy, I try to poll different viewpoints and see what they say might happen and then come up with my own call on 263 days from now…
      Basically I’m saying if all things being equal and given a certain set of circumstances this is what might happen. :-)

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