Put away the bathing suits and sparking lemonade.
Millions of Michiganders are eager for the cool breezes of fall, long sleeves and that coveted pumpkin spice latte. But more than anything, it's the changing of the leaves that really makes Michigan fall feel special.
And while it feels a little early to be talking about fall colors, heavier precipitation during the summer months points to an earlier-than-usual peak season.
So we've tracked down a nifty, week-by-week fall foliage predictor map, courtesy of SmokyMountains.com. Planning to travel the scenic M-22 highway this season? You may want to head up sooner than you think.
The map uses millions of pieces of data to predict fall foliage for every county in the country. Some of the data points in the complex algorithm include:
- NOAA historical temperatures
- NOAA historical precipitation
- NOAA forecast temperatures
- NOAA forecast precipitation
- Historical leaf peak trends
- Peak observation trends
"Other than the Pacific Northwest, we are expecting warmer-than-average fall temperatures during the during the September through November time period. These warmer temperatures are expected to prolong the color season," said data scientist Wes Melton, creator of the interactive map.
Here is a look at the biggest weeks to capture the best of Michigan's fall colors:
Sept. 3 - Some early changes
By early September, parts of Michigan's Upper Peninsula will be seeing near peak conditions. Meanwhile the northern Lower Peninsula will see some partial color.
Sept. 17 - Best week for U.P. foliage
If you're planning a trip to the U.P., this may be the week to do it. Fall foliage will be at its peak from Copper Harbor and Marquette to Munising and Sault Ste. Marie.
Sept. 24 - Best week for Charlevoix
The northern tip of Michigan and the lower southwest portion of the U.P. will see peak colors during this week. Meanwhile, most of Michigan's Lower Peninsula will be brightening up, with near peak colors showing.
Oct. 1 - Best week to travel M-22
If the scenery of the M-22 highway is in your fall plans, this could be the perfect week to do it. During this week, Michigan's Lower Peninsula, all the way up to about Frankfort, will be lit up with the most beautiful colors the Mitten State has to offer. North of Frankfort, we'll be past the fall's peak colors.
Oct. 8 - Say good-bye to the changing colors
Yes, you read that right. By October 8, the entire state of Michigan will be past its peak foliage.
Interactive Map (Tap on the dates to view predicted changes):
This interactive map below was made to help serve as a planning guide and should not be considered 100% accurate.