New England Fall Foliage » Foliage Articles » Late July foliage forecast & Comment winner

Late July foliage forecast

Well folks here we go again… I always hope for an easy forecast and Mother Nature throws some wicked curve balls. Right now much of the Northeast is in a drought condition and some of the central to eastern parts of Massachusetts are in serious drought. Some areas of central to western Ma have a bonus gift of millions of gypsy moths eating all the leaves off the trees.

take a Vermont scenic drive down Cloudland road

At the top of Cloudland road


At least not yet and before you read on!
If you already have reservations but you think they might be in the Gypsy moth areas then call a local library or similar business that doesn’t depend on tourism and ask their opinion on the surrounding area. NO! I will not go and check it for you.

For drought areas

Even if we get a rainy August I don’t know if the damage hasn’t been done but you need to keep an eye on the weather in New England. We are going into a period of uncertain weather where spot showers will be falling across New England. (better than nothing)

What may happen…???

I think if you come south into the drought areas you will very likely find color in many areas but it could be spotty or softer colors. it all depends on what August gives us. I’ve never seen a complete washout of a year in the past 15 years and this year is doubtful to be any different. (Translation… It will be one where you have to work for it)

The bright spot for fall colors

Right now the bright spot is northern VT, NH and much of Maine which has gotten more regular rain. So if you were planning on arriving in late Sept to 10-15 Oct then you should already be planning to be in the “safe” zones.

Please remember, in 2012 and 2013 and 2014 and 2015, we were various levels of drought!!! So even though I and the climate prediction folks say severe drought the trees may still put on a show but it may be harder to find it.

Last year severe drought conditions were across much of New Hampshire and I had an incredible show of fall colors in spite of it. What did happen with the elevated temps is that places like Stowe and the Southern White Mountains didn’t peak till around Columbus day instead of a week earlier. Stowe VT is usually the 1st of October and it was the 12th and even then it was just shy of peak color… But damn! it was pretty!!!

The current prognosis

I wish I could say this is a no brainer this year and it will be EASY to find all the fall colors. But Mother Nature is for the most part going to make you and me work for it.

(Please remember I’m not a meteorologist and I’m trying to interpret technical info from NOAA here is their summary for non-technical users but if you are making decisions based on my thoughts alone, please get a second and third opinion before you cancel or change your plans)

Comment to win for July

The winner for July is Jennifer McCoy so send your congrats her way!

Mugs for comment to win

Mugs for comment to win

If I could figure out how to make everyone a winner every month I would… I know you are just commenting but everyone says such nice things that I wish I could send a gift to everyone!

What is scary is that there will be only three more winners in 2016 and then I’ll be picking the grand prize winner from among the winners. Keep sending in the comments and maybe you will get lucky!

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:
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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Late July foliage forecast & Comment winner — 22 Comments

  1. Thanks a lot for your quick reply! Yes, this area (Green mountains and Finger Lakes) is my next research.
    I will follow up your useful blog during this month, and keep my fingers crossed for long and windless autumn in NH.
    BTW, today your site was my only reading item today, it is treasure!

  2. Hi Jeff,
    My name is Vera and I am from Siberia, Russia.Our family will visit White Mountains between 14-18 October.
    I changed my plans thanks to your amazing blog (reduced NYNY city vacation for sake of NH foliage). I hope we will see awesome american foliage.
    In case we are not so lucky to catch White Mountains foliage, what nature place would you recommend as plan B? Will Finger Lake area still have peak foliage? Or should we plan southern way?
    Thank you very much,

    • Greetings Vera, There is a fair chance of good fall colors in the White mountains but if the season proceeds to quickly then I would look to the southern Green mountains of VT. Or the lakes region of NH.

  3. Thank you very much Jeff! Will follow your advice. Consider your site to be the best among “leaf peepers” community. As I understand, you’re helping a lot of people. Thanks again!

  4. Hello Jeff, I live in St. Petersburg, Russia and travel to US often since 1995. I had a chance to visit New England (NH and VT) in 2005 around Sep 26th-Oct 1st but it was a bit too early for fall colors. This year I have a free week which I want to spend for taking photos of NE foliage. We arrive at Boston and will be driving northwards. I have 2 options: start our trip on Oct 3rd or a week later, on Oct 10th. May I ask you to advise which option is better this year and which region do you recommend for visiting. Your help will be very much appreciated since I have to book everything in advance.
    P.S. We have beautiful foliage here in St. Petersburg too. It’s interesting to compare…

    • I’ve seen beautiful colors from places that I can’t pronounce but I do see some mystical fall images from your part of the world. I too have traveled the world (but not Russia) 🙁
      Not matter where I go is incredible beauty…
      The climate prediction folks are calling for above average temps… But we here in Salem hit 56F last night and places up north in VT, NH and ME are see numbers going into the first week of sept of lows in the upper 50s.. and in some areas in the low 50s and Woodstock NH is calling for the upper 40s (all temps in Fahrenheit)
      IF I had a high confidence we were going to see mid 30s by the middle of Sept then I would say earlier. But as it looks right now I would go with the later dates (10 Oct) and plan for areas in the White Mountains and the mid Vermont Green mountains regions. Also you could look at between Rangeley Lake ME and east or North east towards Greenville but south of Grrenville…

      the best plan is to try to pick the sweet spot between little color and fading color so if you pick around North of Woodstock Vermont or Chocorua NH or Augusta ME then you should be in the thick of it…

      Of course as I say this Mother Nature is going to lower the lows to the 30s next week and the prime colors will be the last week of Sept… 🙂 Which is what usually happens to me.

  5. Hi Jeff, I was in Stowe, VT last year on Oct 1 and it felt like summer. I’m going to Stowe again this year. Based on your best guess, do you think peak will be off by a week again? I know you said: late Sept to 10-15 Oct is in the “safe” zones” but I’m trying to decide between Oct 4-8 or Oct 11-16 to get closer to peak this year. Thanks for your help. Maureen

    • I think we’ll still be a week late but as late as last year? I hope not I was finding near peak on the 12th of Oct and that was 10 days late… BUT! if we get a good cold snap at night in the mountains… Well then that will really screw up plans, that could put us more on track… All depends on what mother nature does…

  6. Thanks Jeff. The last time we visited was in 2012 and we had to look for the color, but you are right, it can be found. ……We just headed to northern Vt and NH. There is no place like New England in the Fall !!!

  7. Thanks! My grad school is actually in AL. We will be flying up from ATL area. I graduated with my masters from UNE and fell in love with Maine. Hope to move there after I finish my PhD down here. We will be mainly Portland and Bangor area. Thanks for the feedback!!!

  8. We are coming to Maine in October, but unfortunately have to plan around my grad school schedule rather than peak leaf viewing. We will be there the 25-30th of Oct. Do we still have a chance of seeing beautiful colors then? Thanks!

    • Hi Kelli, Well depending on where your grad school is, I would say you have a good chance of seeing good colors. Just head to the coast! I have said this many times that the last areas to turn colors will be along the coastal areas. So hopefully you aren’t too far and you should find some fall colors.

  9. Hi Jeff can”t believe another year has past and i”m back on your sight. checked last wear”s first post and i wrote you on August 6th. Headed to Bartlett on 10/14 so right now it appears up in the air on what will be left. Just came back from north conway and i will say I was surprised at how green things were i live in plymouth Ma and everything is brown and burnt! I’ll stay tuned for your further updates. roger king plymouth mass.

    • It’s not much better here in Salem but lucky for us the answer lies in going north to Vermont, New Hampshire or Maine. While they are a little dry, they are in pretty decent shape.

  10. Just to give you a heads up, I’ve been hitting up the Essex steam train and the foliage along there is green and full with no drought conditions and no gypsy moths. That area should be good for color

  11. Since we are now planning our itinerary, we are paying close attention to your every word, Jeff! We have our plane tickets and our rental car! We are super excited as we have waited for this trip for years!!!! Thanks for all the help you’ve given us and continue to give us. I love your website!!!

  12. Yay! I finallly won! Thank you! Appreciate the early forecasting. We are counting down the days until I can get back to “my happy place” in the Fall! Austin is hotter than Hades right about now so dreamin’ of cooler temps!

  13. I love, love, love your website and I look forward to your updates every week. We are headed up to Vermont, NH & Maine on October 5 for 10 days. Last year was my first time in New England and it was love at first sight. Your updates helped us out greatly as where to catch great color while we were there. I came home with over 1000 photos. Just standing underneath some gorgeous tree foliage & snapping a shot up into the foilage gave me a couple of great shots that are some of my favorites. Hopefully the news of a good fall will become your top story to tell us about. Fingers crossed. Keep up the great work that you do.

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