Fall foliage starting to appear in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom
LYNDON CENTER, Vt. (WCAX) - Fall foliage is starting to appear in our region, especially for those of you in the Northeast Kingdom.
This year’s weather will likely bode well for vibrant reds in this part of the state. Still, the impact of the pandemic is expected to dampen this year’s foliage season.
Tony D’Amato, the director of the forestry program at UVM, expects to see a great fall foliage season this year.
The foliage is, of course, affected by the weather. We started the spring and summer in a drought. It was the second warmest June and August on record in Burlington. Meanwhile, July was soaking wet, especially for the southern half of the state.
Despite the wet July, D’Amato says the drought will be what impacts this year’s foliage the most. Early season drought doesn’t bode well for a vibrant fall but D’Amato says a long stretch of dry weather in the late summer can have the opposite effect.
“We don’t always get those vibrant reds but we’re seeing them this year,” he said.
The southern two-thirds of the state picked up enough rain to wipe out drought conditions during the second half of the summer. However, the Northeast Kingdom remains abnormally dry, which may aid in producing those more vibrant reds.
“In many cases, if you have a later dry sunny period, those tend to be some of our more spectacular fall foliage years,” D’Amato said.
Darcie McCann with the Northeast Kindgom Chamber of Commerce expects this to be a slower than normal fall tourism season, but says the people who do show up to see this year’s colors will play an important role in keeping Vermont tourism alive going forward.
“We’ve got to build for those other years. We’ve got to get those pictures out there. We’ve got to get posts on Facebook, just how beautiful it is, knowing that it will rebound in years to come,” McCann said.
Despite expecting a slower than normal tourism season, McCann says people are still coming to Vermont. She says our high vaccination rates have helped attract tourists to the state.
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