We may still technically have a month left of summer, but that doesn’t mean we can’t start planning our favorite fall activities now.
If you want to catch the seasonal transition in full effect—and outside of Starbucks’ stores, which went ahead and introduced pumpkin spice items on Tuesday—take a look at the 2019 Fall Foliage Prediction Map, which also launched this week. Using historical data and forecast predictions, the map will help you plan trips around the changing colors of the leaves.
On the website, created by Smoky Mountains, you’ll find a map of the continental U.S.; if you scroll by dates, the map will suddenly change colors based on the color of leaves you might expect to find in a given area. A green or light yellow in a region might mean you’re jumping the gun on fall. Meanwhile, a deep red means you can expect to see fall at its peak.
In New York, for example, autumn leaves peak somewhere between October 5-12. In Michigan, it’s after October 12. Of course, the map is a generalization and provides a best-guess; the exact “brightness” of red leaves might depend on the type of tree or its surrounding environment.
“Nothing is 100 percent accurate,” David Angotti, the cofounder of the map, told Patch. “… We can have a brilliant fall, and Mother Nature can come in with a wind storm and rip those leaves off in minutes.” In other words, don’t take the map at face value and be sure to check in on weather conditions before you travel. As the map (bleakly) notes, increasing global temperatures also affect both the “brightness” and length of the fall colors, so this map may look drastically different a couple of years from now.
Otherwise, use it to guide your upcoming plans. You might even save a little money on travel by planning a trip during the fall over winter or spring.