This Map Will Tell You Exactly When Fall Foliage Will Peak in Your State This Year
Use this fall foliage map to see when the leaves will change in your state.
But do you go at the end of September? Mid-October? Thanks to this map, you don’t have to guess.
The 2020 Fall Foliage Prediction Map, put out annually by SmokyMountains.com, will help you figure out when the changing leaves are patchy at best, have peaked, or are past their peak.
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“The map should be especially useful to potential travelers, leaf-peepers, and photographers as they pick future dates for trips to view peak fall in each area of the United States,” company founder and statistical expert David Angotti said in a statement shared with Travel + Leisure. “The date picker, which can be found at the bottom of the map, helps the user visualize how fall will progress for both specific destinations and the entire country. For example, selecting Sept. 7 on the slider will display the expected fall foliage for the week of Sept. 7 to 13. The color legend on the right-hand side of the map clearly illustrates the meaning of each color. Our goal is that this data-based interactive tool will increase the number of people that are able to enjoy peak fall in 2020.”
The map was created by analyzing millions of data points, according to its creators, and put together county by county, utilizing everything from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration precipitation forecasts to average daylight exposure and temperature forecasts.
2020 Fall Foliage Map
“Since the fall foliage map is based on meteorology and predictive patterns, the precise moment Mother Nature produces peak fall is difficult to predict. While the refinement of our algorithmic model over the past eight years has helped us achieve reliable results, accurate meteorology predictions are sometimes elusive and never 100 percent accurate,” he said. “However, the good news is that the combination of nearly a decade of experience combined with great meteorological data sources ensures we achieve a higher accuracy over time.”
Angotti expects leaf-peeping to be a sought-after fall activity across the country this year amid the coronavirus pandemic, saying that “since many of the top fall foliage destinations are within an easy drive of major cities, we are expecting larger leaf-peeping crowds in many of the popular fall foliage destinations.”
But before you embark on that road trip, research when to head out for your best chance at seeing the leaves change, based on where you live. Here’s when to expect peak fall foliage across the United States, according to SmokyMountains.com.
For New York Fall Foliage
Peak leaf-peeping season in New York starts (in the northern part of the state) the week of Sept. 21 and lasts until mid-October.
For Vermont Fall Foliage
Expect peak fall foliage in Vermont to occur the week of Sept. 28. However, you may be able to catch some beautiful colors in the southern part of the state through the week of Oct. 5. By mid-October, Vermont will be past peak fall colors.
For Maine Fall Foliage
For much of northern and western Maine, you can expect peak fall colors to occur the week of Sept. 28. The remainder of Maine, primarily the eastern and coastal portions, will peak the weeks of Oct. 5 and 12. By Oct. 19, the entire state will be past peak fall foliage.
For North Carolina Fall Foliage
At the highest elevations, a few counties will begin to experience peak fall colors the week of Oct. 5, but you can expect peak color in most of the state to occur during the weeks of Oct. 19 and 26.
For New Hampshire Fall Foliage
Expect the best colors during the weeks of Sept. 28 (in the northern half) and Oct. 12 (in the southern portion).
For Washington Fall Foliage
In Washington state, you can expect to see the leaves begin to change around the end of September, with peak foliage either occurring the week of Oct. 12 or Oct. 19, depending on the area.