Experts are predicting fall foliage season will be delayed for the second straight year as much of the U.S. is set to experience above-average temperatures in late September.
Citing the latest eight- to 14-day outlook from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center, Weather.com reports that “parts of the Northeast, Southeast, Rockies and West have at least 50-50 odds of warmer-than-average temperatures over the next one to two weeks.”
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The mild overnight lows will likely mean leaves will begin changing color a week or so later than average.
Typically, parts of the Rockies are experiencing the early stages of fall color by mid-September, with foliage peaking in late-September in the highest elevations as well as places like northern Minnesota and northern New England, according to the weather service.
Meanwhile, the rest of the Rockies, Midwest, Appalachians and most of the Northeast usually experience peak season in early- or mid-October.
In addition to warm, sunny days, an ideal fall foliage season is reliant on longer and colder nights, which slow and eventually stop chlorophyll production resulting in leaves’ yellow and orange pigments becoming more dominant, states Weather.com.
Time to start plotting some foliage trips? I’d aim about a week or so past the averages again this year with a warm outlook mid to late September. Very healthy forests right now should make for a good show, barring tropical trouble. #wbz pic.twitter.com/NJEZuxCSZp
— Eric Fisher (@ericfisher) September 9, 2019
The good news for autumn leaf peepers is that many forests are healthy heading into the fall thanks to a wet summer for most of the country. What’s more, the brief delay means travelers have a little more time to plan their fall foliage trip this season.
Those in need of some inspiration should consider one of these places to leaf-peep on the cheap.
You can also view the gorgeous fall colors by boat, from a handful of national parks or enhance your experience with a rewarding stay in one of these scenic bed and breakfasts.