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2022 Fall Foliage Prediction Map Released

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FSU chapter.

Living in Florida, there’s a lack of the beautiful yellow, orange and red leaves that mark the beginning of fall compared to other states who are lucky enough to experience the changing of the seasons.

A map of foliage patterns, created by the Smoky Mountains website, shows predictions for when the aspen, birch, larch and maple trees will turn into these trademark autumn colors that we Floridians usually miss out on.

This map can help travelers better plan the timing of their trips in order to have the best opportunity to see the peak foliage. The Smoky Mountains tourism team first created the map in 2013 when they began receiving inquiries from travelers about the optimal times for visiting to see the colorful leaves in the Smoky Mountains region. This then turned into an algorithm that accounts for historical temperatures, precipitation data, forecasted temperatures, user-generated reports and past years’ leaf trends.

By moving the sliding scale on the bottom of the interactive map labeled with dates ranging from early September to late November, the coloring of the continental map of the U.S. will change depending on the foliage levels of the area. The key on the right side of the map, starting with light green and ending with burnt umber, distinguishes the change in foliage ranging from ‘No Change’ to ‘Past Peak’ as there are seven foliage categories. Using the map, one can see the vast range of foliage variations depending on the timing, as the map is a colorful mix of yellows, oranges and reds, resembling the foliage colors.

David Angotti, the map’s creator and brand founder, said in statement that was provided to Travel + Leisure, “What started as a fun side-project quickly became the most respected nationwide fall leaf map and one of the best fall resources in the country. Now, tens of millions of people use our map each year to plan vacations, weddings, and photography trips.”

Using the map has made traveling in the fall, especially being outdoors and witnessing the changing leaves, tremendously easier and provides some estimate for the prime opportunity travel. The Northeast, a popular tourist destination in the fall season, will have peak foliage from the beginning of October and through the end of the month. For Floridians, based on the 2022 fall foliage prediction map, fall foliage will be at its near peak and peak starting in early to mid-November until the end of November into December.

Along with the interactive prediction map, the site also dives into the science of it all. It states, “As the fall days begin to get shorter and shorter, the production of Chlorophyll slows to a halt, eventually giving way to the ‘true’ color of the leaf.”

Two of the most important factors for this prediction map are the weather and climate. Smithsonian Magazine explains, “As human-caused change continues to make the planet hotter and dryer, one expected consequence may be an accelerated fall foliage pace.”

If you plan on visiting family up north during the holiday season or plan to take a vacation out west during a long weekend, the 2022 fall foliage prediction map will be your best friend.

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Sydney is a Junior at Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida, majoring in Media and Communication Studies. When I'm not planning my next trip, I'm discovering new music, trying new restaurants, and lounging at the beach.