Here’s an Interactive Map that Will Allow You to Plan a Precise Fall Foliage Road Trip

Here’s an Interactive Map that Will Allow You to Plan a Precise Fall Foliage Road Trip

A Smokey Mountains tourist website has created an interactive map that allows you to see how the leaves change color across the United States.

While the map is updated by first-hand accounts of leaf color, the team behind it actually built an algorithm to take into account historical temperatures, precipitation levels and weather predictions.

An autumn road trip to see the leaves turn red, orange, and yellow, whether you live in Virginia, Wisconsin, Vermont or anywhere else, is not always easy to get right.

Fortunately the science of the leaving of leaves can be pretty accurate, since chemical changes that result in the autumn preparation can be measured reliably.

The Smokey Mountains 2022 Foliage Map is simple—just move the slider down the days and months and watch the United States turn yellow and red.

Smithsonian reports that this year’s forecast is a good one for Colorado’s ghee-yellow aspen trees, which turn the most yellow and last the longest with warmer temperatures and less rainfall.

October 3rd would probably be the best of all worlds for a trip to Washington state, with much of the state’s colors nearly peaking, but not so much so as to run into crowds of other leaf-lookers.

While the onset of pumpkin spice lattes and other treats in the grocery store might lead a family zooming up the Blue Ridge Parkway as soon as the nights turn crisp, the map this year asks patience of those in Appalachia, who should wait until around the 26th of October for peak color.

Trees shed their leaves to prepare for winter, everyone knows that, but what makes some leaves turn yellow and others brown? The colors come from phytonutrients and vary from species to species.

Leaves are green during summer due to the constant creation of chlorophyll, without which there would be autumn colors year-round.

Yellow leaves are flush with flavonols, an antioxidant in humans, and something present in all leaves but which can’t make the yellow hue until chlorophyll production ceases. Red leaves are expressing their anthocyanin content—think grape leaves. Just like our bodies, anthocyanins protect the leaves from damage.

Leaves with a lot of beta-carotenoids absorb blue and green photons and reflect them as yellow and reds, making them seem orange to our eyes.

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