By Rami Abou-Sabe

As we settle into the back half of August, signs of autumn can be seen spreading around the region. Grocery stores have already bypassed the back-to-school craze and brought out Halloween candy, Dunkin’ Donuts is rolling out their pumpkin-infused menu earlier than ever, and best of all? Foliage experts say we’re in for one helluva show.

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Past seasons have been a bust due to too much or too little rainfall. Last year, an extended drought was compounded by leaf damage when vast areas of the region were decimated by caterpillars, defoliating hundreds of thousands of acres.

But this year, forecasters are optimistic. Yankee Magazine predicts a “strong and vibrant” showing. “The setup looks good overall for New England’s fall foliage display this year. The forest appears generally healthy and leaf development has been normal. The upshot: In New England, normal fall colors are expected to be spectacular.”

Jim Salge, who tracks the region’s autumn display for Yankee Magazine, said this is the “most optimistic forecast” he’s had in years. “The biggest thing that can go wrong with foliage is a really wet couple of weeks leading up,” Salge told the Associated Press. “We’ll really need that typical fall weather in New England — warm, sunny days and cool, crisp nights — to make it pop. But we’ve had a great setup.”

So strap on your hiking boots, grab a pumpkin spice latte, and get ready New Englanders, we’re in for peak fall.


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