Before you start making any leaf peeping plans this fall, you may want to make sure that the foliage is at its peak with a new interactive map of the USA that predicts the best time to catch the phenomenon nearest you.
Created by Smokymountains.com, the map predicts that this year, peak foliage season for parts of the Midwest and Northeast, for instance, will reach its full peak the week of October 8 — any earlier and visitors may be disappointed with patchy, green foliage, and any later, bare branches.
The map was developed by collecting millions of data points from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, including past temperatures and forecast temperatures, along historic foliage trends.
The data was then turned into an algorithm.
According to the map, the earliest period for optimum leaf peeping is the week of September 17 in the Western US, while the final chance to behold the phenomenon is the week of October 29, when trees in the Southeast are predicted to change color.