Most vibrant fall foliage in the US predicted to grace the Northeast this year

By Jillian MacMath, AccuWeather staff writer
September 19, 2018, 7:48:13 AM EDT

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Forecasters are calling for an excellent fall foliage season in parts of the Northeast this year, thanks to ideal weather conditions over the summer.

Leaf peepers are most likely to find vibrant autumn leaves in the corridor stretching from southern New York to southern New England.

AccuWeather Meteorologist Max Vido said: “In this region, rainfall has not been as extreme from the summer months and near- to below-normal autumn rain is expected."

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“There is a greater likelihood for the dry, cool nights and sunshine-filled days that enhance leaf vibrancy,” he said.

The remainder of the East will struggle to develop to its full potential, with warmer and wetter-than-normal conditions in the forecast.

Vido said: “Across much of the Ohio Valley, mid-Atlantic and southern Appalachians, the long-range team is anticipating warmer and wetter conditions than normal.”

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“The wetter-than-normal conditions often prevent nighttime lows from falling to levels more favorable for the development of colorful pigments,” he said.

So far this September, there’s been few cool, dry nights across the region.

Meanwhile in the Smoky Mountains and lower Appalachians, Florence may have spoiled chances for a stunning season.

Meteorologist Evan Duffey said: “Florence probably took a good deal of leaf cover off the trees prematurely.”

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Where leaves held on, color may be delayed significantly by lingering warmth well into fall, he said.

Across the Upper Midwest, frequent storm systems will likely lead to an early leaf drop, meaning there won’t be much for autumn sightseers to feast their eyes on.

While visitors to the Northwest will have more to look at, the vibrancy may be disappointing compared to previous years.

The summer’s very dry weather will have stressed trees, causing colors to be delayed and vibrant yellows, reds and oranges may struggle to develop.

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