Well, this is what you have been waiting for, this is my long range WAG (Wild Ass Guess) for what I think, believe or have an inkling of what we as Leaf Peepers can look forward to during the 2019 New England Fall Foliage season.
Fall Foliage Factors to Consider
The forces at play that affect the development of the Fall Colors:
- Amount of daylight
- Daytime temps
- Nightime temps
- Amount of rainfall
The amount of daylight is controlled by the rotation of the earth, nothing that I can see changing too much in that arena, at least I hope not.
Temperatures (day/night) and again we have no control over this, except to control greenhouse gasses. These two factors are causing our fall colors the most trouble. So let’s switch over to electric cars, get rid of cattle/cows (big methane producers) and wait… did I just say get rid of cattle… No steak or burgers, boy, that will be a hard sell. 🙂
The biggest effect the warming temps have on the fall foliage colors is to slow the change. In 2018 I called for and we received a “slow burn”. This means we had a slow to start fall colors (delayed start) then we had a slow development of the colors.
The good news:
This can work in our favor if…
In 2018, we had no big wind storms up till the 16th of Oct., In fact, the 14th had great snowliage up in the White Mountains. The next day I took CBS up to Tamworth, Conway and over to Maine on Route 113 where they saw great Peak color at the Basin.
The evening of 15th gave us winds that hit 40 gusting to 50+ MPH winds. Guess what happened to that peak color? Yup! Much of it on the ground or in the pond… The winds this morning were still enough to almost knock my camera and tripod over. It’s also much brighter and the remaining color is so different from 12 hours earlier.
So while a slow burn can work for us, it just takes a single rain/wind event to reset the fall colors to green and we have to wait a week or more for the colors to develop again. The bad news is that this appears to be the new norm for us.
ffecting our Fall Foliage Colors
Each state in New England may be small in comparisons to places like Texas, let’s face it as the crow flies its only 550 miles from the Maine/Canadian border down the Stanford CT. If that was a straight road you could easily drive that is a day.
Due to the terrain of Mountains and flatland, rain doesn’t fall equally across all of New England. Last year North Western Vermont was in various stages of drought while the rest of Vermont and New Hampshire received more on average, closer to what they normally receive.
You may ask, how did this affect us?
1st off you may wonder how too much rain or too little rain can affect the fall colors. Too much rain either in spring, summer or fall is bad for the trees because there are several fungi that will flourish in a moist environment. You may have heard of Anthracnose or Tar Spot. They are the Maple tree’s nemesis.
These are two that are always on the trees, year-round. They don’t cause the trees problems until we have too much rain or even a long, cool, moist, and cloudy period. I’m not a biologist but I start to worry when we have those conditions for longer than a week straight. These fungi always show in some degree during every year but how much trouble will they cause, is a big question.
Optimal year in rainfall would be…
Generally, we can hope for a balance from spring through 1 September. lengthening days that are warm and sunny with brief periods of rain to keep the ground moist and the trees, happy. Happy trees mean the leaves resist fungus and insects. Happy trees also hold onto leaves longer during the New England fall foliage season.
What 2019 may bring to New England Fall Foliage…
Many of you probably skipped right here, to the good stuff… First off I’m talking more “Big Picture” than any day to day kind of weather that New England will get. The Noaa climate prediction folks and their statistical models only see the big picture.
As of January 2019 we are looking at average temps and rainfall up through April. as we move into late spring and summer we are starting to see above average temps for New England with average rainfall.
As of August and into November we are maintaining the above average temps and above average chances of rainfall through our autumn colors.
So, looking forward from this point in January, we are looking at a slow burn for our New England fall colors this fall. There will be light color developing in September but it will be safer to bet on early October for northern Maine and North of the White Mountains for any serious color.
IF… IF we once again don’t have weekly wind/rain events, which
My Weekly Fall Foliage Projections for Sept-Nov
28 Sept – 5 Oct, I would look at Greenville Maine North to Canada. In New
3 Oct – 13 Oct, I would be in the White Mountains of New Hampshire and points North. Central Maine up through Rangeley Maine. In Vermont, anywhere in the Green Mountains and central VT and points North. Massachusetts will have general nice color and I would be looking in the Berkshires, around the Quabbin Reservoir, and along Route 2, west of Erving MA.
12 Oct – 25 Oct, IF we get continued progression which didn’t happen in 2018 You will be looking at Southern VT, NH, and Maine and into Massachusetts. In 2018 it got bottled up in the Central regions and didn’t progress causing the fall colors to still be around in southern NH at Halloween.
20 Oct – 5 Nov, I believe you will be finding the New England fall Foliage all through Massachusetts into Connecticut and Rhode Island. You will find the fall foliage colors in Boston along the Charles River and at the Arnold Arboretum/Boston Common/Blues Hills. The fall colors will hang on and still be showing up in surprising places through the first half of November.
BUT! this forecast
My next Forecast should be out in March or April…Jeff "Foliage" Folger You can purchase images by visiting my Fine Art Gallery websites
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