There are a lot of great things about fall when it finally settles and across the nation. Many people appreciate the cooler weather the change of season brings. One of the most popular things many people enjoy doing around the nation is checking out the beautiful fall foliage colors. However, with a severe drought gripping much of the nation this year, the fall colors could be different from years past.
Meteorologist Allison Chinchar with CNN says geography doesn’t automatically mean vibrant colors. Often when people think of bright fall colors, they automatically think of New England states. According to Chinchar, whether often plays a more critical role on bright fall colors. The map above is one created to show when the peak fall foliage viewing season will begin in various parts of the nation.
For some areas, that peak has already passed. According to the meteorologist, perfect fall foliage conditions depend on a combination of temperature that’s not too hot and not too cold and moisture where it’s not too wet or too dry. Unfortunately for areas that have experienced extreme weather conditions this year, such as in the West and New England, it is impacting fall colors.
Typically fall colors are particularly beautiful in the West, particularly in the Rocky Mountains for states like Colorado, among others. Currently, 75 percent of the West is under drought conditions, while over 80 percent of many New England states such as Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire are in a severe drought.
Residents and visitors to Vermont are expected to see vibrant fall foliage this year due to factors such as good tree growth last year, mild drought, and warm days and cold nights over the last month. However, Dr. William Keeton, forest ecology and forestry professor at the University of Vermont, says that while the drought could trigger more vibrant colors, the timing may be premature. He says that the colors this year coming about two weeks earlier than normal and probably go by quickly. The map image above shows the ideal times to view fall colors in much of the country.