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Does it feel like the fall colors are arriving early this year? Some people may tell you that Autumn Roadtime seems to go faster and faster when you get older, but don’t believe them this time because you’re not imagining it! The leaves have already started to turn in northern Wisconsin, and parts of the state could peak as early as the third week of September (Yes, that’s next week, and a week quicker than usual.) See for yourself at SmokyMountains.com’s Interactive Foliage Map.

According to the map’s creator Wes Melton, this year’s leaf model is predicting an earlier-than-typical peak fall due to the heavy precipitation we saw during the summer months. Fortunately, however, the NOAA 90-day future precipitation and temperature graphs are pointing towards a longer color period for most of the county. If you’d like to see Wisconsin’s fall foliage map, be sure to check out Travel Wisconsin’s Fall Color Report.

Shorter days play a significant role in the changing leaves’ color, but weather can also be a big part. According to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the best recipe for stellar fall colors include a warm, wet spring; a mild summer that doesn’t get too hot; and a fall with warm, sunny days that don’t quite reach freezing temperatures – the perfect way to describe the past the six months of 2017.

In other years, we may have seen a delayed arrival of fall colors due to drought, or less leaves from early frost or heavy winds, so we may consider ourselves lucky this year!

If the fall days continue as we’ve already seen, it sounds like Wisconsin will have a lovely, colorful season. Where is your favorite place to take in the breathtaking colors? If you don’t have a destination in mind, Travel Wisconsin comes to the rescue once more! Check out their picks for the best scenic drives that will give you a guaranteed front row seat to Mother Nature’s annual show.

No matter where you plan to go, be sure to schedule your time accordingly – it will be here and gone in just a few, short weeks.

Happy (Early) Fall from Lions Pride!