ST. LOUIS, Mo. – We are still a couple of weeks away from the official start of fall and that means it is time to plan those fall foliage tours. Many people head down the Great River Road in Illinois.

Check out the 2022 Fall Foliage Prediction Map from the Smoky Mountains to find the best time to view the orange, red and yellow leaves. It even answers questions on why leaves change the way they do.

This year’s forecast for fall colors is looking good with a nice long season. The trees should start changing color near St. Louis around October 10, 2022. Halloween will have a lot of colorful leaves in the trees. The peak time for the trees should be November 7, 2022.

Who came up with this map?

“In 2013, potential visitors to the Smoky Mountain region began asking us questions about when the leaves would be most brilliant. From these questions, we built the first version of the fall leaf map and have consistently improved it each year. What started as a fun side-project quickly became the most respected nationwide fall leaf map and one of the best fall resources in the country.  Now, tens of millions of people use our map each year to plan vacations, weddings, and photography trips. However, the most common use is individuals using the leaf map to check when leaves will peak near their home,” states map creator David Angotti.

How does it work?

The predictive map uses a complex algorithm that carefully analyzes several million data points and outputs approximately 50,000 predictive data pieces. This data then enables our program to forecast county-by-county the precise moment when peak fall will occur. 

What data does use to create the map? Some of the data points processed by the algorithm include:

  • NOAA historical temperatures
  • NOAA historical precipitation
  • NOAA forecast temperatures
  • NOAA forecast precipitation
  • Historical leaf peak trends
  • Peak observation trends
  • User Reports