New England’s foliage season is about to get a ‘jump start’

By Terry Eliasen, WBZ-TV meteorologist and executive weather producer

When you think of September in New England, what comes to mind?

For me, it’s deep, blue skies, cozy days, cool nights, and pumpkin everything. It’s also the best time of year (outside of ski season) to head north and see the explosive fall colors that make New England famous.

So far, September 2023 has none of the above, except for pumpkin shakes.

It was warm, or hot in some cases. It was wet. And of course it was wet. It has rained on seven of the last 10 days in Boston. When it rains it pours.

All this unusual weather has had a huge impact on the foliage season. As of now, there is no season.

Drive north and you’ll find green, green and more green.

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CBS Boston

You can literally drive all the way to the Canadian border and only encounter a few isolated patches of yellow in the areas farther north.

This is 1-2 weeks behind average. Typically by this date, foliage season has begun in the north, even approaching peak color at higher elevations.

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CBS Boston

So will this season be a failure? Not so fast.

This weather over the next few days is exactly what the leaf doctor ordered. Sunny, mild days and cool, crisp nights. The new season will start in the next 3-5 days. By the end of this week, we should see a lot of new color on the top peaks of the greens and whites and even some spotty color locally in the marshes and swamps.

This was our forecast for early September foliage and I think there is still a chance for that.

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CBS Boston

A lot depends on the weather over the next few weeks. If we can keep the “typical” fall weather going, I think we can still have a very nice, if somewhat late, season.

If we go back to the same old pattern we’ve been in since June. . . Warm, humid, humid – so all bets are off. We’ll get a hint of what’s to come early this weekend. Currently the outlook is a bit unclear. We are watching a disturbance off the southeast coast of possible tropical development. Whether it turns tropical or not, there will be a band of rain trying to head north this weekend on the East Coast. Some models depict a very humid stretch of 2-3 days while others hold high pressure in New England.

Another wet and humid stretch will likely mean more foliage delays and fewer chances of having a somewhat “regular” season.

In the meantime, if you’re heading north, we’d love to hear from you! Send us your feedback and photos, now and throughout the rest of the season!

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