Planning a trip to the U.S. this Autumn? Here’s how you can make the most of the cosiest season of the year.
If you want to catch the seasonal transition in full effect — and outside of Starbucks’ stores, which went ahead and introduced pumpkin spice items last week — take a look at the 2019 Fall Foliage Prediction Map, which has also just launched.
Using historical data and forecast predictions, the map will help you plan trips around the changing colours of the leaves.
On the website, created by Smoky Mountains, you’ll find a map of the continental U.S.; if you scroll by dates, the map will suddenly change colours based on the colour of leaves you might expect to find in a given area. A green or light yellow in a region might mean you’re jumping the gun on autumn. Meanwhile, a deep red means you can expect to see autumn at its peak.
In New York, for example, autumn leaves peak somewhere between October 5-12. In Michigan, it’s after October 12. Of course, the map is a generalisations and provides a best-guess; the exact “brightness” of red leaves might depend on the type of tree or its surrounding environment.
“Nothing is 100 per cent accurate,” David Angotti, the cofounder of the map, told Patch. “… We can have a brilliant fall, and Mother Nature can come in with a wind storm and rip those leaves off in minutes.”
In other words, don’t take the map at face value and be sure to check in on weather conditions before you travel. As the map (bleakly) notes, increasing global temperatures also affect both the “brightness” and length of the autumn colours, so this map may look drastically different a couple of years from now.
Otherwise, use it to guide your upcoming plans.