Most St. Louisans know our metro area has 12 seasons instead of four: winter, fool’s spring, second winter, spring of deception, third winter, the pollening, actual spring, summer, hell’s front porch, false fall, second summer and actual fall.
It’s tough. Especially after cooler temperatures earlier this month teased us to believe “actual fall” is finally here. Yet temperatures this week soared past 90 degrees. 90. fucking. degrees.
It’s days like the last few that have us yearning for fall, and with it, fall foliage. Luckily, on this first day of fall, things have cooled down. And we may not have to wait much longer to ogle at vivid fall foliage.
According to the Farmer’s Almanac, leaves will begin to change by the end of September. We’ll start to see leaves in the St. Louis-area transition to more vibrant colors in the second or third week of October.
This tracks with predictions from Smoky Mountains National Park, which uses historical weather data to calculate when leaves will reach their most vibrant. The below map gives a week-by-week prediction of what leaves will look like and when.
So far, unless St. Louis’ notoriously changeable weather throws us a curveball, the map predicts trees here will reach their peak color during the first week of November.
So plan your fall activities accordingly. The Farmer’s Almanac lists the best places in the country to see fall leaves this year, and a few are near St. Louis.
Pere Marquette State Park in Grafton, Illinois, is the closest suggestion. About an hour drive from St. Louis city, the park provides expansive views from high vantage points near the Mississippi River. For those craving a full-fledged road trip, the Ozark National Forest in Arkansas is also known for its fall foliage.
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