Many of my friends have been sending me the article links about an Early Fall from different newspapers around the country and then they ask the big question. What am I seeing in New England??? And what do I think will happen?
First thing to remember about early fall color!
August is when we ALWAYS start to see the earliest signs of early fall colors. As far back as I can remember I’ve been getting articles in mid august, such as these below. Maybe you’ve seen similar?
Ok! Now please remember that the media is there to report the local stories and if the titles happen to be ones that sensationalize the facts (just a tad) then they probably feel it’s ok. EVEN if it causes all of you to panic and run to your computer to change your reservations. DON’T DO THAT!
Now I read and re-read the Buffalo article that in part reads: “The polar vortex – that extremely cold air that swirls above the North Pole – may make a brief visit to the Northeast next month, AccuWeather.com reported Wednesday.”
Well I went to the AccuWeather site and saw this blog post that they may be referring to: Long range weather forecast clues. What The buffalo newspaper maybe looking at that THEY in Buffalo may get cooler temperatures but we in New England probably won’t be getting a “polar vortex of cold in Sept” in fact over the next 3-4 weeks the temps may climb to more seasonably warm and drier through mid Sept.
Have we in the Northeast had a cool summer, YES but we have had a few days of 90+ degrees (33+c) and this is true we haven’t had as many as we think we “normally” should have. Working off our collective memories we all think the last few years have been hot…
Wait a minute… Have they really? in Whitefield NH, August 2013 reached 87 for one day. In August 2012 (said to be the hottest year since 1880s) we had exactly one day at 91, and August 2011 (the year October got rained out) August was 86. I can go on to show we have a seesaw back and forth from years with 82 as the high, up into the low 90s.
What does this really mean?
- First, every year is different!
- Second, if the trees in any area, for any multitudes of reasons get stressed, then they will turn in part or in whole early. The result? Early fall color!
- Stress can be too much or too little rain. Also too high or too low temps. Also insect activity like the Asian long horn beetle can cause a tree to turn early in an attempt to fight the bug.
I was consulting with Jim Salge at Yankee Magazine about what I thought the season was going to bring and early fall colors and he agrees with me in part, as to what August and Sept may bring to us.
What I think we’ll see during the rest of August and into Sept.
First, Every authoritative weatherman I see quoted says should and could (just like you see me say and I don’t know as much as them) 🙂
Basically “I think” we’ll get some warm temps and then some cooler than normal temps which could move the fall foliage timetable up. How much you ask? Well, ask me in November…
The only big surprise that I’m slightly worried about is if (like in 2012) we get cool or cold temps across all of New England in Sept and many areas of CT, RI and MA start turning when VT, NH, and ME do.
When I make my suggestions I’m trying to keep the current weather events in mind but basically if you don’t try to guess when peak is going to be but instead locate your self in a central location so you can drive north or south in search of the peak fall colors then you should consider yourself successful.
Please stay with me through the next few months as we look at what Mother Nature has in store for us. Together we can try to give you all the information that you can use to plan your vacation.
I love to respond to comments on my blog and if you have questions then please use this as your first option. If you send me an email and many of you do… Well let’s just say I work full-time and get tons of emails and there is a good chance of losing said email the closer we get to October… So please leave a comment instead. (They are easier to follow)
Jeff “Foliage” Folger
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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.
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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.