Wondering what the foliage is going to do?

Foliage Forecast: August through October


Well its in the 90s again today in Salem (whew!) but later this week we’re due for a cool off. When I saw that on the morning news I took a look at the Climate Prediction center to see what they say.

You can read their report for non-technical persons here. (yes I read this) 🙂

What I read into this and looking over the near term reports, to include the Temp & Precipitation charts for August – October, I came up with this. We have a cool down over the next week or so and then August will warm back up again and that warm up will continue through October.

This is not saying that it will continue to get warmer… Only that it will be above the norm for that particular area or month. So if the daytime temp is normally 62F in Woodstock NH, it may stray to 65F or even 67F. I read the report as a few degrees warmer but not massive… Lets revisit this in November to see how we did.

Now the precipitation is the interesting factor here. August is supposed to be above normal rain but going into late August and through to October we’re looking a below normal rainfall in the Northeast. This sets us up for… But first, a commercial break from our announcer.
Art Prints
I thought I would share this covered bridge photograph from NorthField Vermont and the fall colors from my Fine Art America Gallery for New England fall foliage.

And yes purchasing my art helps keep me on the road. Or visiting the advertisers on the page. 🙂

OK, where was I?

This sets us up for a interesting conundrum. I’m going with my Best case:

The warmer temps mean that color may start a little slower and will be drawn-out over late Sept and October. But, if we do get, several inches of rain over August but Sept and October stay relatively dry and sunny, then as the fall colors develop, they will be much brighter and will really catch your attention!

So that was the best case, what is the worst case? Do you really want to know? I would say… Long drawn-out and slow to develop color with no bright colors… Is this going to happen? That I don’t know, I prefer my positive “best case” outlook.

Connecticut foliage locations

Connecticut foliage locations

Most likely, it comes down to this deciding factor! If we get lots of sunny days. AND, If we get that along with lower rainfall, then you should have a spectacular fall foliage season!

Early fall foliage reports

Every year we start to see reports of “Early fall colors” and I even posted a mid July Staghorn Sumac leaf shot in scarlet red and green on my New England fall Foliage FaceBook page. And a shot from last week in North Carolina and up in Vermont a few leaves are showing some color!

Do you want to see what Early fall color reports amount to? I shot this on August 2nd (2015) on I-89 (Vermont) heading south with my Cell Phone. As you can see early fall color is clearly evident in the Green Mountains of Vermont! NOT! 🙂

Driving down I-89 in the Green mountains of Vermont in August shows us the summer has a strong hold on Vermont and New England.

Driving down I-89 in the Green mountains of Vermont in August shows us the summer has a strong hold on Vermont and New England.

So even if you see me showing examples for “Early fall colors” this is still what you will see if come in August or even early Sept! Like this, shot on 1 August (2015) in St Albans Vermont.

early fall color in St Albans

Escape today

Jeff "Foliage" Folger  You can purchase images by visiting my Fine Art Gallery websites

Subscribe to my Newsletter - If you would like to sign up for my Fine Art America Newsletter (click this link and a window will open allowing you to sign up). Why sign up for the newsletter? Contests, discount codes on my artwork, maybe an excerpt from my book "Exploring the back roads of New England with Jeff Foliage"... Yes you heard me right... (Damn now I have to start writing it!)

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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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August foliage forecast — 19 Comments

  1. Hi Jeff,
    My girlfriend and I will head up to Acadia NP in October but we can only the first or the third weekend of that month. When do you think the most impressive colors will be towards early or late October in Acadia.

  2. Thank you so much, this really helped. We have started to amend our plans accordingly for the weekends. I will be keeping up with your forecast and we look forward to visiting. Our travel dates: We arrive10/09 and depart 10/18. I hope we have planned enough time.

  3. Hi Jeff!! I have the opportunity to visit Pigeon Forge, Tenn either Oct 15-Oct 19 or Nov 20-24. I am limited to staying at a lower altitude due to my child’s heart condition and wanted to know when you think I would catch the best foliage. I heard you are the guy to ask. Thanks, Fran

    • Well Thank You Fran, So I’m the guy to talk to… My reputation is growing… 🙂

      To start off I’ve never been to the Great Smokies in the fall (or any other time either so please come back and let me/us know how it was.
      I found this website for the Pigeon Forge, Tennessee area of the Great Smokies. They say upper elevations (not good for you) is earlier in Oct. The mid level altitude to lover is good mid to late Oct and lower elevation is early Nov.
      So I think the 15-19 Oct because you will get the colors marching up the side of the hills…

      If you want please go to my Autumn Advice foliage forum and you could start a group for the Great Smokies and talk about that stretch of road there. If you have questions about registering or starting a group let me know…

  4. hi jeff well my favorite time of year is approaching and i’m back reading your reports which i love. arriving in bartlett n.h. on 10/16 if all goes well looks like we might see some late color!! thanks for your reports

  5. Ah thought may be the case, but still
    lots to enjoy whilst we are there. Thanks Jeff

  6. I have just realised that I put the wrong month, we are arriving 24th October, I must have been half asleep when I wrote it. Yes, we are visiting Grafton VT. Thank you for the link to the forum.

    • That changes this a bit as you will be traveling up through good colors but you’ll be on the tail end of colors in Jackson and Grafton. There should be some late color but the best colors should be a week earlier 7-15 Oct…

  7. Hi Jeff,
    Thank you for the information and updates. We are from Denver and we are planning a trip with my in-laws to see the fall colors in New England starting October 9th. We would love to visit Bar Harbor on our adventure. As we get closer to the time what can we do to help us decide to head north right away (most likely out of Boston), or to head west to MA, NH or VT. What should we be watching to make that decision, i.e. rainfall forecast, your site (of course), or the links you have provided?… Or is the answer all of the above? One last question is it foolish to wing it and hope to find two rooms day by day as we travel on our path searching for the best colors or should we absolutely make reservations? I hope your predictions are good, it looks like we could be there at the right time.

    • Boy this covers a lot of areas.
      First, where to get info. My page, of course is correct… 🙂
      Second if you look next to any article on my site and on the right side of the page look for My Foliage links. Here you will find the current links to each the states tourism foliage reports. They are usually a decent indicator of what the autumn foliage is doing.
      Third The 9th means you should head up towards the white mountains or the Greens in VT. In general this date would be from Conway NH south to the Mass border. In VT I would look at Woodstock south to the border and south central Maine. By the 15th the color will be well into the Massachusetts areas and even pushing south.
      FourthWinging it, this is always the goal but there are times that reservations are advisable. During popular weekends, like Columbus weekend (CDW).. and that weekend is 9-12 October… More that a million people flood into New England for the colorful show and I suspect that rooms will be at a premium.
      Since you are traveling with your inlaws and wife and or kids… I will bet you’ll want a room at this point, because If I was traveling with my inlaws, I wouldn’t want them looking at me and wondering where they are sleeping that night. Maybe they are devil may care types and they are offering to bring sleeping bags, then that is up to you… Next Lisa says you may be able to find a place to stay but it may not be what you are expecting. You’ll have to lower your expectations in hopes of getting a room.
      During the week you will have a lot more luck as weekends are usually filled up… If you were traveling alone you could bring a sleeping bag and be prepared to sleep in the car.
      Last I would head north into VT and NH and after the CDW, head over to Maine and Bar Harbor (Bah Habah as the locals say it) 🙂 Then you can travel down the coast, stop in Salem MA to get a feel for the Halloween fun and back to Boston. If you still have lots of time left in your trip head over to western MA and explore some more. You didn’t give dates but I think this will get you pointed in the right direction..
      Good Luck

  8. Every time you update your prediction, I keep feeling better about my Vermont/New Hampshire visit starting October 4.

    Marietta, GA

  9. Hi Jeff really enjoying reading your predictions, and seeing your photos. We are visiting New England for ten days from 24th September, am restricted to these dates due to English school holidays. We are starting our trip in Boston,on to Rockport, Wiscasset, Jackson and then finishing in Grafton (we are so excited about our trip of a lifetime). How likely are we to see any Fall colour so late in the season? Many thanks Linda

    • Actually Linda, that is early in the season. So going up the coast, the colors will be light. A tree here or there but as you head across into Maine and then over to NH and (Grafton VT? or Maine and the state park?) But you should see some great colors in there. There is also a fall foliage forum at this address, http://www.autumnadvice.com

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