New England Fall Foliage » Foliage Articles » June Foliage Forecast for 2015
Upper Cox Brook Covered Bridge is in Northfield Vermont and I call it one of the Northfield 5 surrounded by the fall colors

Covered bridges of New England

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

Temps 2.5 months out in New England

Temps 2.5 months out in New England

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

rainfall over the next 2.5 months

rainfall over the next 2.5 months

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

Forecasted drought by NOAA

Forecasted drought by NOAA

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

fall foliage forecast for 2015

my sugar maple is bare

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.

Winter moth as caterpillar

Winter moth as caterpillar

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…

Fall foliage forecast for Dixville Notch in late September

Dixville Notch in late September

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.

Got a question? Leave a comment below! If you think you have a great question, then create a livefyre comment account and share this question to your Facebook or Twitter fans. I really appreciate it if you can help share my posts and comments to your social media!

Escape today Jeff "Foliage" Folger  You can purchase images by visiting my Fine Art Gallery websites
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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:
My most popular blog is for Leaf peepers: Jeff
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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June Foliage Forecast for 2015 — 6 Comments

  1. Do you only predict what’s happening in New England? I would like a guess as to when would be a great time in the Southeastern part of the US! We have a lot of beautiful foliage around here, specifically in areas like Blue Ridge and North Alabama, but it is difficult to tell when the peak season will strike. Thanks in advance!

    • Well Beth, Mark Twain wrote, “it’s better to keep ones mouth shut and have people think you’re a fool rather than opening your mouth and having them know it” 🙂
      You see I’ve never been down the Blue Ridge Mountain parkway and I just saw their video and there was some gorgeous fall scenery there from Virginia to Bama! But the problem is, I’ve never been there!!!! The plain truth is I’m all out busy in Sept to Oct to cover in some fashion, a portion of New England. I only do this with the help of Photographer friends sending me reports and pictures and even then I may miss something.

      So while I would love to talk about those areas, they are real guesses…
      BUT! I will say this. According to the current NOAA drought page there is an area of North Carolina that is showing drought all the way through the end of October. The area in question may involve a portion of the BRMP and this could adversely affect the colors. It all depends on how much of a drought there is. I don’t have any hard numbers, but if severe, then the leaves may turn early and drop fast with very bright color OR… they will turn brown, curl and drop equally fast… This is for only a small area of NC. see it here

      I was in the Air Force and I’m quite familiar with much of this nation and it’s beauty. I’ve been through about 3/4 of the states and I know for a fact they are big and beautiful and worth visiting. But I try to limit myself to talking about New England because if I start to talk about fall foliage in any of the other 44 states, then people will most assuredly know that I’m a fool… So lets keep that between us… 🙂

  2. I think you’re great! Sorry you don’t have a crystal ball that works, but this seems to be next best! Let’s face it….it’s a crap shoot…

  3. You keep talking about September being the peak (approx)  and I am getting alittle worried.  I have planned a trip to the northeast for Oct. 9 – 17.  It is my husband and I’s 40 anniversary and I have talked about how beautiful it is in the fall.  Have I planned our trip to late?

    • Hi TD, I don’t remember saying peak would be in September or rather that the peak then is all there will be. Peak CAN happen from the end of Sept through the end of October. It all depends on what happens with the weather. I don’t have a direct line to Mother Nature and my advice is guidance not a guarantee.
      Mel Allen over at Yankee Magazine calls Peak “a continuum of fall colors” and it’s never just one day but it grows and expands and then shrinks in time with sunshine, temperature and rainfall. Its the mixture of these elements that determine when and where and I hate to say it, IF peak will show up. But I have gone through an entire autumn season and didn’t see what I would call”Peak” once. Was I devastated? NO! I saw areas of New England that were at 50%-75% color and I focused of the few trees that were glowing in red and orange, surrounded by a lot of green trees.
      So saying peak will be a certain time is folly. Peak will be happening from late Sept through October, it just depends on where you look.

      Now, Congrats on the 40th anniversary! You’re coming in on Columbus Day weekend. First… If you can, arrive early because I’ve driven on that Friday once and only once. All traffic heads north on that day (9th) and Route 93, 95 and 16 (and others) will be impacted. Although I found the getting off 93 and onto 89, we left much of the traffic behind.

      I’m now assuming that you are planning to be Woodstock VT or points south to the Berkshires of Mass OR from the Kancamagus highway in the White mountains south to the Merrimack valley of Massachusetts OR from Sebago Lake south and east and south to the coast of Main and into the Northshore of Massachusetts.
      If your plans don’t match up with my “guidance” then you don’t need to worry too much. I can usually find late color north of these areas but it will be the late turning trees. Also what color turned the week prior to the 9th could still be there IF, IF, we don’t have rain and wind… The chances of that are… well I’m a bit pessimistic and I would plan on rain. (Yes I’m a glass is half empty kind of guy…) So By the 9th I’m looking a little further south…
      The reason is this, the trees are just turning and the leaves have a stronger bond to the branches (I hope) as the days progress the leaves attachment to the branches weakens till they fall off. The lightest of breezes can take leaves down when the leaves are at peak.

      This is why I tend to look a bit further south and in my opinion trees that are between 50% to 75% turned look wonderful. I rarely find a whole tree that turns all at the same time.. Usually its the crown turning and then as the branches turn further down you will see the crown (top) of the tree go bare… This is normal…

      In summation 🙂 Depending on where you are heading you should plan for attending events, (harvest fairs or Agri-tourism things) that you may enjoy. and while you are exploring these things drive some of the back roads and look on the maps for ponds and rivers preferably with walking trails that you can take a walk along. I have a few walking trails in mind and these trails are called rail trails. I was on one on Saturday in New Hampshire near Charleston NH. (that is where the Fort at Number 4 is) and just a short drive away Lisa found a couple covered bridges. Well bridges #57 and #58 were covered train bridges and the railroad tracks have been taken up but the road bed is still there and you can walk for miles and walk through the covered train bridges. You do have to share the trail with 4 wheelers but I saw four pass me by and they went by slowly and waved…

      So plan to enjoy your time and even if Mother Nature doesn’t cooperate you should still be able to show your husband some wonderful colors. I hope this helps..
      Jeff Foliage

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