It might still be scorching hot in some parts of the country, but the excitement for fall is in full swing. And if you’re lucky enough to live in a state where the seasons truly change, nature’s sign that we’ve made it to the beloved season is that the leaves start to change. SmokyMountains.com, which releases leaf peeping forecasts each year, recently released its 2022 annual report that predicts peak fall colors in each region of the United States.
Northern areas of the US close to Canada are expected to change as early as the first week of September, including in northern Washington, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. Upstate New York and other parts of the East Coast will also begin to change. During the following week of September 12, those same areas are expected to get patchy, while minor changes will start in a few counties in California, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, and Wyoming, along with almost all of the East Coast.
The rest of the country will follow the North’s lead the first week of October. By the week of October 10, only Southern states like Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida will be holding out on changing leaves. But by Halloween, the entire country is expected to have gone through some optimum leaf peeping period, with a substantial majority of the country near or past peak.
While the system could never be 100 percent accurate, to predict when the leaves would change, SmokyMountains.com used historical temperature and precipitation levels, along with NOAA forecasted temperature and precipitation. It also analyzed tree species in each region, the historical trends of leaf changes in each area, and user data. Leaf enthusiasts can also report leaf changes in real-time on the SmokyMountains.com website.