We’re all about cozy sweaters, pumpkin-flavored everything, and afternoon apple picking. But the one thing we really look forward to every fall? The changing leaves.
There’s really no better stress-buster than taking a walk in the crisp air and seeing the trees filled with bright yellows, reds, and oranges. (But for something new, try one of these cheap fall activities your whole family will love.) The only problem is, we get anxious waiting for that fall foliage. Luckily, this year doesn’t have to be such a guessing game, so you can start planning one of these road trips for stunning fall foliage ASAP.
The SmokyMountains.com made an interactive map predicting exactly when the leaves will change colors. You can move the slider to different dates to figure out when your hometown’s leaves will make the switch from plain ol’ green to the peak of their brilliant maroons and golds (this is why leaves change color in the first place.)
Data scientist Wes Melton took a look at past and future temperatures and precipitation in each area. Pairing that with historical color changes, he made some predictions about the fall foliage each region can expect this year. “Our aggregated historical and current database now includes hundreds of thousands of unique data points giving us the ability to predict more accurately than ever before,” Melton writes in a statement.
Melton says that because the United States had heavy rain this summer, he’s expecting the leaves to reach their peak color earlier than usual. Plus, in most of the country except for the Pacific Northwest, the temperatures will be warmer than usual this fall, so you can expect the bright colors to stick around longer, he says. More time to walk through that gorgeous fall foliage? We can’t complain. We’ll just add more leaf-viewing to our fall bucket list.
To find out more about the changing leaves, visit SmokyMountains.com’s fall foliage page.