The map is the product of an algorithm that provides a county-by-county look at when fall colors will peak across the contiguous United States in 2018, using a plethora of data points from historical forecasts. An interactive version of the map (shown above) reveals where leaves will peak every week all the way through the beginning of winter. Below, you'll find a breakdown of when to expect peak to arrive near you, according to the map.
When & Where Peak Will Arrive This Fall
Where: Unsurprisingly, the leaves haven't started to change anywhere across the country. Green is king, for now.
Where: The map predicts "minimal" changes will be seen in parts of the Northeast -- Vermont, New York, and northern Pennsylvania -- as well as northern Minnesota and parts of Colorado and New Mexico.
Where: Many of the areas that saw "minimal" changes will graduate to "patchy" changes, especially in the Northeast. At the same time, additional areas in the Northeast, upper Midwest, and around the Rockies will also see some changes start to occur. In fact, a recent report from I Love NY indicates the leaves are beginning to change in northern reaches of the state, like the Adirondacks, Thousand Islands-Seaway, and Capital-Saratoga regions.
This is only the beginning, so you're not going to see anything spectacular anywhere in the country quite yet.
Where: Just in time for the official start of fall (September 22), you'll start to see the leaves change in a major way in the parts of the country that previously saw "patchy" changes earlier in the month. This forecast is still a ways away from the peak, but you'll begin to see the beautiful colors in parts of the Northeast, upper Midwest, and in much of Colorado. For example, nearly half of the leaf-bearing trees in northern portions of Maine will be bright will fall colors at this point, according to a fall foliage report by the state's Department of Agriculture.
Minimal changes will begin to spread elsewhere as well.
Where: Just in time for the start of everyone's favorite fall month, parts of six states -- Vermont, New York, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, and New Mexico -- are forecast to be "near peak." Additionally, much of the northern half of the country will see the leaves beginning to change if they haven't already.
Where: Peak finally arrives in much of New York, Vermont, and northern parts of Pennsylvania, while most of the surrounding areas will reach "near peak," so that's likely where you'll want to be to see the most colorful displays. The forecast also calls for the leaves to reach peak in northern Minnesota and central parts of Colorado and New Mexico. Additionally, only states in the South will still be waiting for leaves to change at this point.