ARKANSAS, USA — Fall is America's favorite season, according to Gallup Polls. What's not to love about cooler nights, harvest festivals, football games, pumpkin spice everything and of course the fall leaves changings colors. As cooler, drier air settles south from Canada and the days get shorter, the green chlorophyll breaks down in leaves leaving behind vibrant yellows, oranges, and reds.
WHEN TO EXPECT PEAK FALL COLORS
Latitude, elevation, and proximity to the ocean make big impacts on when leaves begin to change locally. We're taking you state-by-state on when you can expect peak fall foliage to occur (exact dates can vary on recent weather conditions like drought or storms). Overall we have seen a slight slow down in leaf color change thanks to warmer temperatures in the Plains, Great Lakes, and Northeast.
ALABAMA | Late Oct - Early Nov
The timing for Alabama's leaf changes depends on latitude, and some of the slight elevation in the northeast corner. Generally peak is in late October and early November. Coastal areas are closer to mid November. The humidity near the coast slows down the leaf change process.
ALASKA | Late Sept - Early Oct
Alaska has the earliest leaf change out of all the states. Many forests are evergreen which do not change, but many of the wildlands turn orange and red in September. Coastal areas toward the south see peak colors in early October.
ARIZONA | Mid Oct - Late Oct
Arizona's desert climate sees limited leaf color change thanks to the type of plants you can find (like cacti), but in the mountains north of Phoenix, some leaf change can be seen mainly in October
ARKANSAS | Late Oct - Early Nov
The terrain and elevation greatly impacts when leaves begin to change across the Natural State. The Boston Mountains, Ozarks, and some of the Ouachitas can start to hit peak as soon as mid-to-late October. Near and south of the I-40 corridor, peak leaf change generally takes place in early November. The colors usually do not last long because as soon as the leaves change, strong cold fronts tend to knock off the leaves quickly heading toward Thanksgiving.
CALIFORNIA | Mid Oct - November
A state the size of California with so much diverse terrain has several different peak fall color timeframes. The Sierra Nevada, Klamath Mountains, and the Northern Coastal Ranges can see peak fall colors in mid October while the valleys see the change in late October. Southern California starts to see peak color in early November.
COLORADO | Late Sept - Mid Oct
Colorado's complex terrain has many different peak fall color timeframes. Generally west of Denver from the Front Range to the CO-UT state line, peak fall colors are in late September to early October. The quiet plains east of Denver, if you can find trees, get peak colors in mid October.
CONNECTICUT | Mid Oct - Late Oct
Most of the Constitution State sees peak fall colors in the mid October. Coastal areas with slightly more humidity see peak in late October.
DELAWARE | Late Oct
Late October is usually the best time to see peak fall colors in Delaware.
FLORIDA | November
The sunshine state is not generally known for its leaf change. Thanks to higher humidity, many times the color is brief and usually turns brown very quickly. The better chance to see fall colors would be in the panhandle in early November.
GEORIGA | October - Early Nov
Georgia's best fall colors take place in the north along the southern fringes of the Appalachians in early October. The rest of the state sees colors peak throughout the rest of October from north to south.
HAWAII | November
You won't find peak fall colors in Hawaii! A few of the tropical plants lose some leaves in November, but reds, oranges, and yellows are hard to find among the dense tropical landscape.
IDAHO | Late Sept - Early Oct
Idaho's diverse terrain leads to many different times for peak fall colors, but in the higher elevations and towards the ID-MT state line, visit in late September. The rest of the state generally sees the leaves change in early October.
ILLINOIS | Mid Oct - Late Oct
Most Illinois sees the fall colors in October. From Springfield north to Chicago, peak is mid-October while the southern half of the state sees the change in late October.
INDIANA | Mid Oct - Late Oct
The Hoosier State sees peak fall foliage during the month of October. Areas north of Indianapolis notice peak color in mid October while areas around and south of the capital see the peak change in late October.
IOWA | Mid October
Most of the Hawkeye State sees peak fall colors in mid October.
KANSAS | Late Oct - Early Nov
Much of Kansas gets peak fall color in late October. In southeast Kansas near Independence and Coffeyville notice the change in early November. Strong, windy cold fronts tend to knock the leaves off quickly.
KENTUCKY | Mid Oct - Late Oct
Kentucky generally sees peak fall colors in late October. However in the higher elevations of the Appalachians in eastern portions of the state, peak change can be in early-to-mid October.
LOUISIANA | Mid Nov
Louisiana is not known for fall colors as winter cold fronts tend to help knock the leaves off as soon as they turn, but generally peak color displays in the middle of November.
MAINE | Late Sept - Early Oct
Maine is the most northern New England state and sees much of its peak color change in late September and early October. Some coastal areas have to wait until mid October.
MARYLAND | October
The state of Maryland sees a noticeable elevation change from east to west. Areas east of Washington D.C. near sea level see peak fall colors in late October while the western counties can see the peak colors in the first half of the month, especially in the Appalachians.
MASSACHUSETTS | October
Much of Massachusetts sees peak fall colors in mid October. Some of the higher terrain in the western part of the state can see peak color the first week or so of October. Some of the islands south of Cape Cod may have to wait until late October.
MICHIGAN | Late Sept - Mid Oct
Peak fall colors slowly make their way from north to south in Michigan. The Upper Peninsula sees peak fall foliage in late September while the mitten mainly ranges from early October to mid October.
MINNESOTA | Late Sept - Mid Oct
The land of ten thousand lakes sees some of the earliest fall peak colors in the Midwest. The northern half of the state, including the headwaters of the Mississippi, sees peak color in late September while the Minneapolis and Rochester metros see peak color in the first two weeks of October.
MISSISSIPPI | Late Oct - Mid Nov
Mississippi, like many Gulf States, is not known as much for fall colors thanks to higher humidity and the arrival of cold fronts quickly knocking leaves off the trees during peak season. During a quiet year, peak is generally in early November. Areas closer to the coast may have to wait until mid November.
MISSOURI | Mid Oct - Late Oct
Much of the Show Me State sees peak fall colors in late October. However closer to the IA-MO state line it may be closer to mid October. Same story towards the south in the Ozarks. Thanks to the higher terrain, peak fall colors can be seen in mid October too.
MONTANA | Late Sept - Mid Oct
Montana is a beautifully diverse state with mountains in the west and plains in the east. In the mountains, peak fall colors arrive in late September while the rest of the state has to wait until October.
NEBRASKA | Late October
Most of Nebraska has to wait until late October for peak fall colors. The western fringes of the state in the high Plains starts to see the change in mid-October, even though trees can be sparse.
NEVADA | Mid October
Much of Nevada has desert conditions will few trees, but in the mountains, peak fall colors can be seen in mid-October.
NEW HAMPSHIRE | Early Sept - Mid Oct
Much of the Appalachians in New Hampshire sees peak color in late September while farther south closer to Massachusetts you have to wait until mid October.
NEW JERSEY | Mid Oct - Late Oct
Most of New Jersey sees its fall colors in late October.
NEW MEXICO | October
Much of New Mexico as a desert climate but in the higher terrain, peak fall color can be expected the first 2-3 weeks of October.
NEW YORK | Late Sept - Late Oct
The Empire state sees a wide range of dates for peak fall colors. In the north around the Adirondacks, peak fall colors are seen in late September. Farther south you have to wait until October, including the Finger Lakes and much of the coasts along Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. New York City has to generally wait until late October.
NORTH CAROLINA | Early Oct - Late Oct
North Carolina's elevation great changes from east (near sea level) to the west (3kft-6kft). The higher terrain west of Charlotte can see peak fall colors in early and mid October. The rest of the state has to wait until late October. Sometimes coastal areas have to wait until early November.
NORTH DAKOTA | October
North Dakota is mostly flat and low on trees, but much of the state sees fall colors in the wildlands in October. Near Grand Forks the peak color can be seen in late September.
OHIO | Mid Oct - Late Oct
The Buckeye state sees its fall colors in October. North of Columbus towards the shores of Lake Erie you can see the peak fall foliage in mid October, as well as the higher elevations near the Appalachians. Otherwise areas around Dayton and Columbus receive peak colors in late October.
OKLAHOMA | Mid Oct - Early Nov
Most of the Sooner State has to wait until the first couple of days of November. However some locations in the north and the Panhandle can see peak change in late October.
OREGON | October
Much of Oregon see the fall leaves change in mid October. A few of the higher peaks can see the peak change in early October. Locations close to the coast have to wait until late October.
PENNSYLVANIA | October
Most of Pennsylvania receives peak fall color in mid October (some of the higher elevations can see peak changes in early October). Around Philadelphia the timing is closer to late October.
RHODE ISLAND | Mid Oct - Late Oct
In Rhode Island you have to wait until mid October for peak fall colors. Coastal areas in the south generally have to wait until late October.
SOUTH CAROLINA | Late Oct - Early Nov
In the higher terrain near the Appalachians, peak fall color is in mid October, but for the rest of the state you will have to wait near the turn from October to November.
SOUTH DAKOTA | Mid Oct - Late Oct
South Dakota sees peak color in October (at least the areas with trees...). Specifically east of Aberdeen many locations can see it in the first couple weeks of October.
TENNESSEE | Early Oct - Late Oct
Elevation plays the biggest role in leaf change across Tennessee. In the mountains the peak color takes place in early-to-mid October. Areas near and west of Nashville have to wait until late October.
TEXAS | November
Much of the Lone Star State is not famous for fall leaf colors because once peak season arrives, strong cold fronts tend to knock all the leaves of quickly. Most of the state has to wait until November. The Panhandle of Texas can see leaf chance (where there are trees...) in October.
UTAH | Late Sept - Early Oct
Much of Utah sees peak fall colors sin early October while a few of the higher elevations can see the change in late September.
VERMONT | Late Sept - Early Oct
Vermont is famous for the beautiful colors in fall. Much of the state sees peak color in late September and early October.
VIRGINIA | October
Virginia's peak fall colors depend on elevation. In the Appalachians the peak color arrives in the first couple weeks of October. Closer to the coast you have to wait until late October.
WASHINGTON | Early Oct - Mid Oct
Other than a few of the higher mountain ranges reaching peak in late September, most of the state sees the peak color in October.
WEST VIRGINIA | Early Oct - Mid Oct
In the mountains of West Virginia, the fall foliage peaks in early to mid October.
WISCONSIN | Late Sept - Mid Oct
Wisconsin's peak color ranges from late September in the north to mid October in the south near Milwaukee and Madison.
WYOMING | Late Sept - Mid Oct
Wyoming is a beautiful state for fall leaves. In the higher terrain in the central and western portions of the state, you can see peak color in late September and early October.
-5NEWS Weather Team
Rain is likely as we wrap up September 2021 in the Ozarks. Here's the forecast: