Fall Foliage 2012

Now that summer is gone it’s time to turn our gaze to the next season, fall. In some parts of the United States people have already felt the crisp cool air of fall and wonder, when will the 2012 fall foliage begin to arrive? Others in the Rockies and Northeast have already witnessed leaves on the trees changing in color. Typically you can see the changing of colors from early September till late November depending on where in the US you live.

boston.com tells us more about the 2012 foliage including what the colors will be like this year and when you should expect to see the peak. 

How good will the color be this year?

The health of the tree and especially the leaves, is a big factor in seeing vibrant colors. A wet summer allows the leaves to often be covered with disease. The result is that the colors end up more muted and dull. If we have a prolonged summer drought the leaves often fall early seeming to just dry up without much color. This year, we started spring with a drought and very warm weather. As the leaves emerged it turned cold and a bit wet, there was even some frost damage in May. June ended up being a below normal month of temperatures, the first such month in a year. The rest of the summer featured fairly typical weather with adequate rainfall and breaks in the heat. The western part of New England, especially the Berkshires has experienced some drought.Where there is severe drought, especially in the Midwest, the color will definitely be negatively impacted this year. The general health the trees this year looks to be in good shape. Of course there are trees with disease however, I believe we are in good shape heading into the foliage season. The sweet spot for spectacular foliage seems to be a dry but not too dry late summer, cool nights, mild to warm days and not much wind. We seem to be getting that type of weather over the past few weeks and certainly again this week.

I do believe that the leaves coming out early and the weather on the drier and warmer side of average will help tip the scale toward a stellar foliage season as opposed to a dull one. Things that can impact this forecast would be several days of rainy cool weather, very windy weather in early October or very cold and even snowy weather with the leaves still on the trees.

Cannon Mountain, New Hampshire

When is peak?

The term peak doesn’t mean it’s the best time for viewing. I think the best color is when we are at about 50%-60% color and still have some green on the trees and less leaf drop. This is somewhat a personal an arbitrary opinion. By the time we get to the official peak week, there can be a lot of leaves on the ground. The maps below show where we are now, where we were last year in a couple of weeks and the average dates of peak foliage. I think we will be about 7-10 days early this year as compared to the average. – boston.com

You can learn more about the change of leaves here – Fall Foliage – What’s Up With Those Colors, and Why Are the Trees in Tahoe so BORING?

Fall Foliage 2012 Photos

Around North America ski resort towns high up in the mountains have already begun to change. (Aspen, Colorado : Stowe, Vermont : Killington, Vermont : Jay Peak, Vermont : Boyne Highlands Resort – Michigan : Crystal Mountain – Ski Michigan : Alyeska Resort, Alaska : Crystal Mountain Ski Area, Washington : Lake Louise Ski Area – Canada : Crested Butte Mountain Resort, Colorado : Telluride, Colorado : Loon Mountain, New Hampshire : Cannon Mountain, New Hampshire)

Aspen/Snowmass – Fall Colors in Aspen, Colorado.

 The Notch – Stowe, Vermont

The changing colors of fall in Killington, Vermont

Jay Peak, Vermont

Boyne Highlands Resort – Michigan

Crystal Mountain – Ski Michigan

Alyeska Resort, Alaska

Crystal Mountain, Washington

Lake Louise Ski Area – Canada

Crested Butte Mountain Resort

Telluride, Colorado

Loon Mountain, New Hampshire

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