Fall Foliage Report: Sept. 18

Patchy colors are being observed across the higher terrain.

While most of the trees are hanging on to green leaves around Connecticut, some patchy color is being noted in a few areas. Although there are some trees carrying yellow or even red leaves, the predominate color as of September 18th is still green.

Patchy color:
Much of northwestern Connecticut is reporting patchy color, particularly across the higher terrain. There is also some color in the far northeastern hills. Greens are giving way to yellows in these areas. While it may take some searching to find colorful foliage, it is starting to pop up.

Into this weekend:
While warmer days today and Thursday may briefly slow down the foliage process, some cooler nights are in the forecast. With lows in the 40s for Friday and Saturday morning, perhaps even with some 30s, expect colors to become a bit more prevalent into the weekend. A trip up Route 8 north of Torrington and Route 44 west of Winsted should feature the most color. Heading up I-84 northeast of Tolland should also yield at least some patches of color.

The average fall foliage season peaks across Connecticut from mid to late October. Approximately October 5-15 would be the peak season for the northwest and northeast hills. The peak shifts toward October 15-25 for the majority of the state. Along the shoreline and in the Connecticut River valley, the peak is generally in the October 25-November 5 range. The season was a bit early in 2013, as peak color was noted by October 1st in northwestern Connecticut and the season was essentially over before Halloween. As a general rule, the higher terrain sees the first colors, while the lower elevations near the shoreline hang on to the last colors.

Looking ahead to 2014:
The season once again appears to be starting just a bit early around the state. Look for a similar pattern to last year, as we will likely see near-peak color by the final days of September in the hills, with the whole season coming to an end by late October. This could change a bit, but that is the current trend that we are on right now.

Map color table:
Green – Most leaves are green
Lime green – Patchy color is noted (more than 50% green)
Yellow – Colors are approaching peak (more than 50% turning)
Orange – Colors are peaking (more than 75% have turned)
Brown – Colors are turning brown and leaves are falling

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