Tip Sheets

Wet summer in Northeast could be prime set-up for bright fall foliage

Media Contact

Kaitlyn Serrao

With the release of I Love NY’s first fall foliage report this week, a Cornell University expert is weighing in on how this year’s weather may impact leaf-peeping.

Arthur DeGaetano

Professor of earth and atmospheric sciences

Art DeGaetano is the director of the Northeast Regional Climate Center, professor of earth and atmospheric sciences and an expert on climate data. He says if the next few weeks live up to expectations, we could be in for some good fall foliage in the Northeast.

DeGaetano says:

“The summer of 2023 generally saw normal temperatures with western parts of the region tending slightly below (up to -2 F) normal and temperatures up to 2 F above normal, particularly in northern New England. Summer 2023 also tended to be wetter than normal, with places like Albany, N.Y. seeing the wettest summer on record and places like Boston seeing almost twice the normal June to August rainfall. To the south in the Mid-Atlantic and West Virginia, drier than normal conditions characterized the summer of 2023.

“In general, summers with lots of sunny days and adequate moisture are probably the ideal conditions for vibrant foliage.  This summer lived up to these conditions in some places, especially northern New England.

“At this time of year, we are really looking for sunny days and cool nights to kick off the fall colors, not quite what we have seen at the beginning of September. The next couple of weeks look like they may live up to these expectations, though! So, barring any big storms that may blow the leaves from the trees, the fall 2023 foliage season is on track provide some nice leaf-peeping opportunities!”

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