Fall foliage enthusiasts, unite. Your favorite season is in full swing and this glorious map (see below for an interactive version) is here to help you make the most of the beguiling landscape of colors.
The map pictured, released annually by smokymountains.com, is a culmination of data surrounding temperature and precipitation forecasts, daylight exposure, and soil moisture in order to predict the timing of foliage color change across the continental United States.
Wes Melton, a data scientist and CTO with smokymountains.com, told Travel + Leisure that the map is “one of the only fall leaf tools that provides accurate predictions for the entire continental United States.”
Weekly forecasts can be viewed by clicking on the dates. Come mid-October, red, orange, yellow and brown hues engulf the map. Towards the end of November, the foliage has receded and viewers will have to wait until the next year for their leaf peeping pleasures to be indulged.
Basically, no more winging it — whether you’re a photographer, traveller, leaf peeper, or any combination of the above, this map is meant to be predictive in a way that helps you make the most of autumn’s beauty. Though being caught off guard by fall’s beauty is undoubtably a lovely surprise, there’s a certain satisfaction in have a predestined knowing that you’re going to see a lush landscape of auburn during your next road trip.
Do keep in mind that the map is not 100 percent accurate (as no forecast truly is). But it’s as close as you’re going to get with its refined, predictive algorithm.
So have some fun with the map’s interactive slider and plan your autumn foliage road trip with ease — chlorophyll-stripped pigments await, replaced with breathtaking autumnal reds and golds.