We’re now looking at Memorial Day in the rearview mirror and “drought” was the word of the day, until this past weekend. New England was behind on rainfall, but we are almost caught up across southern New England.
Temperatures in the Northeast
The Climate folks at NOAA say their prediction for late summer/early fall is looking like temps will be a little above normal in the Northeast. The scientists also say “THEY (the data) INTRODUCED UNCERTAINTY OVER THE NORTHEAST, WHERE THE NMME SUITE FAVORED ABOVE-NORMAL TEMPERATURES“. I’m not a meteorologist, but in my opinion this means they just aren’t really sure yet. 🙂
Precipitation in the Northeast
This prediction is looking like last year as they are calling for average or “Equal Chances” of rainfall across the northeast. We want to see rain taper off at the beginning on Sept through the end of October. A little rain is ok but a week long rain binge spells disaster!
What do these two factors mean? Keep reading for my foliage forecast thoughts!
It’s all about the colors!
I thought 2012 was one of the best autumns seen to date, why?
The colors during a drought year are (normally) stronger than during a more balanced year with a normal mix of rainfall to sunshine. Why? Because the sugars are concentrated in the leaves and sugars equal colors. If you concentrate the sugars, you get brighter colors.
We still have to walk a tightrope here because if it’s too much of a drought, then the leaves fall off too soon before they develop color, or just as they reach peak, they fall. It’s the same with too much rain and cloudy days in summer into Sept. We can get dull colors that are slow to develop.
The downside to drought
The jury is deliberating this one, and will for the next few months, but I am watching it to see how we’re doing.
The downside is that you may get here one day and see incredible colors and then overnight we get light rain and winds. The next morning those colorful leaves are on the ground. Drought means a weak hold of the leaves on the tree. A slight breeze will have the colors raining down. This can render my foliage forecast null and void, unless I state that this is what will happen, then I’ll take credit for it… 🙂
So, either way of the center line we go, there are potential problems, And drought makes the trees more susceptible to insects, and speaking of insects…
Insect damage in my yard
I live on the edge of conservation land and maples and oaks are the order of the day. (plus poplar, birch and pin oaks) and a few other varieties. One little varmint called the winter moth is rearing it ugly green head. A maple and the oak next to it are in trouble. The maple has no leaves left and the oak has leaf skeletons. Other oaks further away show some damage but not as bad.
I want you to go out and look over your trees and if you see a green inch worm, squish it! (wash your hands afterwards) to get the gunk off. You shouldn’t spray now because you affect all the other beneficial insects at the same time. Lisa says let nature take it’s course! I’m more of a mind to squish the little green monsters and let God sort them out… 🙂
Weather thoughts for Autumn 2015
Since this is what you are waiting for, I’ll dive into the deep end. For autumn 2015, I see either average temps through Sept, or if we are lucky, a chance of lower temps that will set us up for very bright colors at the end of Sept. What will affect this in Sept is rainfall. How much we get, and how many sunny days, will really determine the quality of the fall foliage color brightness during autumn.
It could be much like we saw in Sept 2014 with incredibly bright colors, but going into October, I think we’ll see the temps rise a little. This may be accompanied by rainfall during that two weeks.
What we want to see…
As many bright sunny days in Sept and through October as we can stand. Keeping the cloudy or rainy days to a minimum is key to the bright colors. We’re only two and a half months out from the critical period (August to Sept), so what we end up with is starting to become more factual than a coin tossed up in the air to fall on the Patriots 50 yard line.
But until Sept 1st gets here, the meteorologists won’t have a strong certainty of what Sept will hold. A lot of this is best guess on my part and I’m just like you, hoping for a great fall foliage season in New England!
Please bookmark my Forecast and foliage reports page by clicking this link and going to that page. Then you can check my foliage forecast and foliage reports as they develop between Jan and October for any given year.
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but people call me Jeff Foliage.
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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.