Fall Foliage Report: Oct. 20

Peak color is evident across much of Connecticut.

The lowlands and interior southern Connecticut have reached peak color. The higher terrain in northwest and northeast sections of the state have passed their peak. Closer to the shoreline, the colors are not quite peaking as of October 20th. Note that colors and the leaf drop are do vary substantially from one location to the next.

Past peak:
Most of northwestern Connecticut and the hills of northeastern Connecticut have passed peak foliage. There is a heavy leaf drop across the highest terrain with many bare trees being observed.

The Connecticut River Valley and much of southern Connecticut north of I-95 are reporting peak conditions. Here, while the vibrancy of foliage varies from one town to the next, more than 75% of the leaves have turned.

Areas near I-95 and down to the shoreline have not quite reached peak color yet. Although there is some deep color in some locations, others have yet to see significant turning.

Through this week:
The deepest color will be noted up and down the Connecticut River Valley, so a trip on I-91 will feature plenty of vibrant colors. Further south, the foliage will continue to advance toward the coast. While the I-95 corridor should feature decent color, areas just to the north, especially the outlying spots, can expect the most color. Watch for a heavy leaf drop across the hills, even in loactions across northern New Haven and northern New London counties. It can be said that the most widespread color is now behind us and with some rainy weather ahead, the viewing conditions will be less than ideal for that reason as well.

Several variables are leading to a mixed, but overall slightly ahead of schedule foliage season this fall. Recent windy days have caused a significant leaf drop across northern Connecticut, but bare trees are noted in spots even further south. The hard freeze in most areas Monday morning will also contribute to pushing many areas past peak color in the coming days.

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

Reports will be posted each Monday and Thursday through the foliage season.

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Quincy is a meteorologist and storm chaser who travels around the country documenting and researching severe weather. He has on-air experience with stations such as WTNH-TV in New Haven, CT and WREX-TV in Rockford, IL. He was most recently a digital meteorologist for weather.com. After achieving his B.S. degree in Meteorology at Western Connecticut State University (WCSU) in 2009, he returned as a University Assistant to help produce weather broadcasts. He also gave guest lectures and worked on website design. He has over nine years of professional weather forecasting experience and his forecasts have been featured in newspapers and on radio stations in multiple states.

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