By Terry Eliasen, Meteorologist, WBZ-TV Exec. Weather Producer

BOSTON (CBS) – Can you believe it is already Columbus Day weekend? The fall is flying by! The weather surely isn’t helping. Where are all the crisp, cool mornings and deep blue skies of autumn? MISSING! Instead, this last several weeks have felt much more like spring – wet, cloudy and muggy at times.

These warm and wet days don’t only affect our pumpkin beverage consumption but there is also a real effect on the trees and fall foliage. Reports thus far have been of a late and spotty season. Typically, Columbus Day weekend is peak foliage time in the suburbs of Boston, but this year we are barely reaching peak in the highest elevations of Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire! And due to the lack of sunny days and cool nights, the colors are sporadic – vibrant in some areas and dull or still green in others.

Nonetheless, I am sure many of you will be hitting the roads this weekend in search of some fall color – so where should you go?

2017 fall foliage Fall Foliage Forecast For Columbus Day Weekend: Go North

(WBZ-TV graphic)

BEST BET

Far northern New England, northeast kingdom of Vermont, White Mountains, mountains of western Maine

Colors in these highest elevated areas of New England should be peaking this weekend. Again, albeit a few weeks late, but reports from this region are largely positive. You may have to drive a bit extra to find a true jackpot of color, but I think you will agree that it was worth the ride! Very little leaf drop to this point in an area that is typically well past peak on Columbus Day weekend.

SECOND, CLOSER OPTION

Lake Winnipesaukee, Green Mountains of Vermont, lower elevations of the White Mountains, most of inland Maine

Looking for a slightly shorter drive? The color in these areas is coming on fast. However, due to the variable weather as of late, the colors are very sporadic from place to place. The best bet in this region would be in the cooler valleys and highest peaks. Certainly not as vibrant and widespread as the far northern locations, but still a fun drive.

CLOSER BY

Berkshires, Monadnock Region, Coastal Maine

Just have time for a quick day trip? While these areas are still 7-to-10 days away from peak, you will find some spotty color just an hour or so away. The trees in this region are still largely green with spotty yellow and reds, but perhaps you may find some hidden gems that have turned a bit quicker than the rest!

WILL THE WEATHER COOPERATE?

The sunniest days will be Friday and Saturday with clouds once again on the increase by Sunday and Monday.

mountains Fall Foliage Forecast For Columbus Day Weekend: Go North

(WBZ-TV graphic)

So, the earlier the better if you are looking for bright, sunny viewing. Sunday will be the warmest day of the weekend, but likely with lots of clouds.

2018 holiday weekend Fall Foliage Forecast For Columbus Day Weekend: Go North

(WBZ-TV graphic)

No matter where you go, we would love to hear from you! Send us your New England foliage pictures from this weekend to weather@wbztv.com!

Follow Terry on Twitter @TerryWBZ

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