PENNSYLVANIA, USA — It's still mostly green at Big Pocono State Park, with some hint of color if you look close enough; signs that fall, and the fall foliage season, are just about here.
Folks travel from all over the country to see the fall foliage right here in Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania, and year after year, it is the Poconos that is ranked among the top places to see it.
"Fall is always a great season here in the Poconos, one that we look forward to with bated breath because we're not sure what the leaves are going to look like every year," said Chris Barrett, president and CEO of the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau.
Quite possibly harder than predicting the weather, is predicting how the foliage will be this fall season. The meteorological factors that go into the changing leaves include cooler temperatures, earlier sunsets, and just the right amount of moisture.
"If it's extremely dry or extremely wet, the colors tend to be muted," said Meteorologist David Nicosia with the National Weather Service out of Binghamton.
Meteorologists with the National Weather Service say slightly below average rainfall in Northeastern Pennsylvania this year should not impact the foliage season.
"You get out to central Pennsylvania, it has been significantly drier, so that could impact the leaves to some extent," Nicosia added.
Experts say one thing that makes our area so unique is the large number of deciduous trees, like oak, maple, and birch trees.
"You get way up in Northern New England, especially in Canada, it's all conifers, so they don't turn color. We're fortunate to live in a climate that allows us to see some really pretty colors before we turn to winter," Nicosia explained.
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), Pennsylvania has the longest and most varied foliage season of any other state in the country. And USA Today has included the Poconos in the top 10 destinations for foliage for the last six years.
"I mean there's so many beautiful places in the 48 contiguous states for viewing leaves. To always be at least in the top 10 is a great honor and its befitting of the Pocono mountains because of its natural beauty," Barrett said.
Peak foliage varies throughout the state, but we typically will not see it until October. The DCNR releases a fall foliage forecast every year with peak dates for specific areas throughout Pennsylvania.
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