Here's when Pennsylvania and New Jersey will have peak foliage for fall 2016
It's now officially fall, and that means leaves across the Philadelphia region will soon be starting to change color.
But when can you expect the best foliage views?
The Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has released its map of when peak foliage across the state is predicted for this fall.
In the southeastern part of Pennsylvania, peak color is expected Oct. 21 to Oct. 31.
Now, leaves around here have reached less than 5 percent of their full color, the department said in its first weekly foliage report.
"The areas of higher elevation throughout this region will have some elements of fall coming to life but we have two to three weeks to go for the big show," the report said of the state's southern section.
The recent dry weather, however, has spurred some fears of a less-than-stellar foliage season. One expert told NJ.com that the area could be in for a short foliage season.
"Trees are very stressed because they haven't gotten sufficient water," Tom Sheppard, chief park naturalist for the Hunterdon County Division of Parks and Recreation, told the news outlet. "This year the leaves, as soon as they start to turn, they're dropping."
But worries about a lack of eye-popping color may be premature. As longtime Inquirer weather writer Tony Wood wrote earlier this week: "In our experience, we have seen a tremendous variety in the timing and quality of the annual foliage show, but have never known it to disappoint."
In New Jersey, foliage usually peaks in mid-October in the northern part of the state, late October in the central area and early November in South Jersey, according to the state Division of Parks and Forestry.
This year, most of New Jersey could see its peak foliage in mid-October, according to SmokyMountain.com's foliage prediction map.
As the leaves change over the coming weeks, the hues you'll see depend on the type of tree prevalent in your area. The Pennsylvania foliage report explains: "The great variety of tree species in Pennsylvania provides arguably the world's best autumn spectacle. Trees that provide brilliant red and orange displays include red maple, sumac, blackgum, dogwood and serviceberry. Yellow and orange tones are provided birch, tulip tree, sugar maple, aspen, hickory, walnut, and sycamore."
While Friday will still feel like summer – a high of 88 degrees is forecasted in Philadelphia – more seasonable weather is expected to start this weekend.