Use this map to plan your fall foliage trip in advance
You therefore had to cancel your summer vacation for the second year in a row because of the pandemic. For a while this year was shaping up to be really good – with the vaccine rolling out and the cases going down and everything – but the Delta variant had other plans (ruining ours).
Now, you might be planning a fall road trip, admiring the colorful leaves and staying in a cozy, secluded vacation rental. Well if so then you are not alone and someone else may have an eye on that booth you favorite on VRBO months ago.
But if fall foliage is an integral part of your trip, it can be difficult to know when a particular area will peak. Fortunately, there is a interactive menu which uses data to predict when different parts of the country will be the most colorful. Here is what you need to know.
How to use the 2021 fall foliage prediction map
Once again, this interactive map come courtesy of David Angotti, statistician and founder of the site SmokyMountains.com. This uses historical temperature and precipitation data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), along with forecast temperatures and precipitation for this year, and historical leaf peak trends to predict when fall foliage will reach its peak. most colorful peak anywhere in the continental United States in 2021.
The map is intuitive: select a date using the slider at the bottom of the map and see where the foliage will peak that week. For example, if you select September 6, you will see the leaf forecast for the week of September 6 to 12.
Of course, like any type of weather forecasting, leaf peak forecasts will never be completely accurate, but Angotti and his team have been doing this for almost a decade, so they’ve been able to fine-tune their algorithm over the years.
As you can imagine, Angotti says the vast majority of people who use the map do so to plan a fall trip or check when the leaves are peaking near their homes, but some people have gotten particularly creative.
“Some of our favorites [uses of the map] include a bride in the northeast who changes her outdoor wedding date, a director planning an on-location film shoot based on our predictions, and even an elementary school teacher planning a trip to a state forest neighbor, ”he told Lifehacker by email.