Thursday, September 26, 2013

Vermont Weather (So Far) Good For Fall Foliage

With peak foliage getting close in Vermont's Northeast Kingdom and some color popping elsewhere, we're in a good weather pattern to retain the foliage for all you leaf peepers out there.
This sugar maple next to my driveway in St. Albans, Vermont
is more vibrant than in past years, which is encouraging.
Last year, it turned a somewhat duller yellow.  

True, it's cloudy in much of Vermont today. I know leaf peepers like sun to light up the colors. You can't have everything, though,

But it's not raining, it's not particularly breezy, and the forecast for the next several days is very encouraging.

First of all, a windy, rainy storm system that some long range forecasts indicated might hit Vermont toward Monday isn't going to happen.

There will be a storm alright, but it will be way, way, way off the East Coast, so it won't be a problem for the Green (Multicolor?) Mountain State

The next cold front coming in from the west toward the beginning of next week is going to fall apart as it approaches the Northeast, so that won't be a factor.

Wind and rain are the worst for foliage, as such weather obviously rips the colorful leaves from the trees. But forecasts indicate high pressure systems will more often than not affect Vermont for at least the next week.

That's a good thing, since high pressure usually means generally fair weather and light winds.

The days will be warmish, in the 60s to around 70 over the next several days, but nights will cool into the upper 30s and 40s.  The humidity will stay low.

All of that is very good news.   Obviously, such temperatures are comfortable for all those weather-sensitive leaf peepers.

Additionally, the cool nights, combined with the fact humidity will stay low, is good for leaf color. Unusually humid weather with very warm nights in my experience tends to wash out the color. Bright sun and cool nights seems to encourage more vibrant reds and oranges.

I noticed driving around that the color is going to be spotty, which is also typical for Vermont. Some areas are a bit drab. It looks like the wet summer encouraged mold on some early coloring trees, which gives us some tans and browns.

But never fear. Judging from places where the color is farther along, the drab leaves drop early, and the green leaves left behind end up turning bright orange and red.

Here in the Champlain Valley, I see that starting to happen. Some of the white ashes have bare branches, because the leaves just shriveled up and fell. But the greens are starting to pop into reds.

Yes, I know I sound like a hopeless public relations cheerleader for the Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing.  

But, the department's enthusiastic yelling and screaming about this year's foliage is so far truth in advertising. And no, the tourism department has not paid me a dime to say so.  (They can if they want, though!)

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