2009 Predictions

When Laura Bly from USA Today called about the fall foliage round up article mentioned in our last post, she asked about 2009 specific predictions for the upcoming season. We wrote about general trends at the beginning of September, but now we bring you a prediction crafted specific to this year’s conditions.

Between the expertise of Norm Michaels, a silviculturist with the Willamette National Forest, and some data mining on the National Weather Service website, this is what we found.

Although a dry summer may make leaves shut down sooner than normal, it’s not really the best determinant. Based on precipitation data from the National Weather Service, we were a little under in the Willamette Valley this summer (Eugene, McMinnville, Portland), but some recent rainfall in September may put us back on track for an average mid-October peak.

It takes freezing weather for the color to really snap, so regardless of rain, we’ll have to wait for the weather to drop.

What is exciting this fall is that the National Weather Service is predicting below normal precipitation throughout much of Oregon. This should extend the fall foliage viewing season! Rain can actually wash out the leaves’ color and make them drop sooner.

We’re crossing our fingers for a cool, crisp fall and long-lasting foliage, so get out there and explore Oregon! Join our new Oregon Fall Foliage Flickr group, and share photos of your colorful adventures this season.


2 thoughts on “2009 Predictions

  1. Hi! This site is great, thanks for all the information. I’m driving to Portland from the east coast sometime late October, early November and I was wondering if you have any updates to the predictions listed here. I am hoping that I won’t miss the colors, as that would make for a beautiful welcoming to Oregon! And if you have any tips you have about the best scenic routes into Portland, please share!

  2. The colors should still be good in eastern Oregon and could still be hanging on towards the west by then. The Columbia River Gorge on I-84 is a beautiful drive. If you have time, turn left at Hood River and come over Mt Hood on the way to Portland. Timberline Lodge is a fun stop. Check this blog again as we update weekly on Thursdays.

    Travel Lane County

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