New England’s fall foliage ruined!
Yup, that is what one Connecticut weatherman said or at least the headline that are mean to grab your attention.
NOW! Do I have your attention? The New England fall foliage season will NOT be ruined. But it will be a bit more challenging to plan our trips. For those of you heading to the southern three states will have your work cut out for you.
The northern New England states
As you can see below, of the three only New Hampshire is in the red but this doesn’t mean we dodged a bullet up north. It just means that they got more rain than down south in MA/CT and RI. White means in good shape and the yellow means unusually dry.
What I would expect in these areas will be colors developing on a near normal schedule and the colors will be bright if, IF… we don’t get a ton of rain during the rest of Sept and Oct. If that happens then the colors will be more muted. Think pastels instead of primary colors. We do want a little rain and lots of sunshine.
So far this season we haven’t been hit with any big storms and the longer we go the more I hold my breath. The leaves up north have a decent to good hold on the trees but any combination of wind and rain is bad and if they are stressed then they will drop in the slightest breeze.
In New Hampshire we have extreme drought in the southern portion and this will be very quick to color up and drop or just turn brown. I would say that we need to look at earlier dates and more northerly if possible.
Northern New England States
Southern New England states
In Massachusetts we have a mixed bag but from what I’m hearing, out in western Mass, you should find the best colors. From the reports I’m reading from Central Mass, this area will be hurting this fall. On top of the drought the gypsy moth damage won’t be repaired until next spring. CT and RI are colored tan and this is more severe than the bright yellow. So we’ll have to see how bad these areas are. My friend Butch in Rhode Island says he is seeing birch turning yellow or brown down his way and on the golf course that he was at it was decidedly starting to look more brown.
The good news
There will still be some color in eastern MA but it will be brief. The other good news is that we have so much history here along with festivals like the Topsfield fair and family farm corn mazes that you will still have a good time. Let’s not forget the Haunted Happenings in Salem MA.
Non-New England state
For the past three years I’ve had Hollywood calling and wanting me to consult on my thoughts on the fall colors in New York. This year they are making a movie in Central park and they called once again so I asked for a screen credit as a foliage consultant. 🙂
I wonder if this make me the fall foliage consultant to the stars?
New York is having it’s own troubles but it all depends on where you look. Western New York is where I would stay away from but east of that has gotten more rain and is in pretty good shape. Eastern NY is a bit dry but should have really pretty colors up from the Catskills to the Adirondacks.
Central Park (NYC) is showing more drought and I think it will be both early and a bit quicker to come down but if we are lucky it should still be bright. As always, if we get a big rain storm then all leave that have turned will come down quickly.
Over all I see our situation as less than perfect but it could be oh so much worse. If we get a Sandy/Irene level storm over the top of New England (or New York) then we might have to wave the white flag and tell Mother Nature she wins this year.
Global warming, El Niño, and La Niña
All of these things play into our fall foliage as well as the rest of the year. One thing connects to another. I was watching a time lapse of a windy day at Salem Maritime’s Derby Wharf (Where I work as a National Park Ranger) and with a fresh breeze at high tide the waves were breaking over the side of the wharf.
All of these weather event are taking a toll on places at the waters edge. A few more years and the wharf along with other low lying coastal areas will need to be abandoned or built up. The world is changing and the climate is becoming more unpredictable. This is my way of saying that my “predictions” are good guesses but please don’t shoot the messenger. 🙂
I’ve sold some of the 2017 Calendars and if you are interested in purchasing my 2017 Covered bridge calendar surrounded by 12 months of fall colors then click the link. This will open in a new page. The calendar is 8.5 by 11 (11×17 opened and makes a great gift or like the one on my wall, a great reminder to take your gaze off the computer and look away every once in a while.Jeff "Foliage" Folger You can purchase images by visiting my Fine Art Gallery websites
- My Gallery on Fine Art America
- Try out the new Fall foliage forum
- Join my New England Fall Foliage page on Facebook
- Follow @Foliage_Reports on Twitter
- Follow me on Instagram @Jeff_Foliage
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.