There were certainly some concerns over just how brilliant foliage would be in New England for the 2012 leaf peeping season this summer - New England had fallen into a moderate drought and the combination of dry and hot weather was stressing trees. Just in time, the weather pattern shifted and ample rains all but wiped the slate clean, allowing New England's flora to recover wonderfully, growing strong and healthy into these days of early fall. Additionally, the weather has cooperated with near-normal temperatures, and perhaps most importantly, the classic New England autumn combination of cool nights and warm days with relatively dry air. The result should be a brilliant and long-lived display of autumn color for the six-state region.
The biggest wildcard in any foliage year, however, is the potential of an October wind storm. The fall season often brings strong gale centers by New England, and if one of these passes nearby while leaves are weakening, a significant leaf-fall can occur and ruin an otherwise great season. Considering such events are rather hit-or-miss, however, for now all systems are a go for a great season of New England - and Northeast, in general - leaf peeping.
I'm including the two maps below that I featured on my NECN evening newscasts - the peak foliage dates, and the current foliage report as of September 12, which should hold into the upcoming weekend of September 15-16. Below the maps is the video explanation from my Wednesday night broadcast on NECN's news at 9 pm, 10 and midnight.
Peak foliage times:
Current foliage report: