Travel

Your Interactive Fall Foliage Guide for 2018 Has Arrived

Where and when will leaf-peeping peak? This map has you covered.


Screenshot via SmokyMountains.com Fall Foliage Prediction Map

Crisp, cool, leaf-peeping fall days are just around the corner, and that means you’ll soon be putting your overworked A/C out of its misery and, if you’re the kind to make the most out of the season, heading to New England’s prime spots for checking out all those beautiful hues.

So in case you’re planning your autumn getaways, be sure to consult this resource: Your Fall Foliage Prediction Map for 2018.

Brought to you by SmokyMountains.com, a website that promotes tourism to another of our nation’s leaf-peeping hot-spots, the map combines data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and other sources to make its best guess about when the leaves will turn, based on historical trends.

“Each year, we use a proprietary algorithm to process millions of data pieces and output accurate predictions for the entire country. Once the data is processed, the map outputs over 50,000 pieces of predictive data and then displays it on an interactive map,” says Wes Melton, the websites co-founder and maker of this year’s map, in a release. “Although simply entering rainfall, temperature data, elevations, and other data points into a model will never be 100% accurate, this combined with our proprietary, historical data drives our model to become more accurate each year. However, unexpected rainfall that falls well outside of expected trends can always change the peak foliage dates and brilliance.”

This year, the interactive map shows the first signs of change in Massachusetts arriving in mid-to-late September, the season’s peak arriving by mid-October, and the last of the best leaf-peeping petering out by October’s end.

For some other good news, Yankee magazine’s foliage whisperer Jim Salge is forecasting a vibrant season this year. “We are fairly confident that the leaves will be bright, bold, and healthy when they begin to change in most areas, and a colorful, vibrant show should be on tap across most of New England this year, he wrote in his annual leaf assessment. “We also believe that the leaves, especially up north, will turn a bit later than historical averages.”

Pretty soon it’ll be time for flannel and sweaters, picturesque jogsdrone videos, and colorful mountaintop Instagrams, and given the hellish summer we all just lived through, that can’t come soon enough.