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

(Oct. 2 Foliage Update) — Some bad news to pass along. . . we have received several reports from up north in the past 24-48 hours that there has been a massive leaf drop and many of the vibrant reds and oranges have become rusty and muted. This is likely in response to the rain and wind event that occurred earlier in the week.

So, the far northern New England region is now classified as slightly “past peak.”  This includes the highest elevations of the Greens and Whites.

There are still some splashes of color and areas of brilliance, so all is not lost. . . but the overall landscape is changing quickly in northern Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.

(WBZ-TV graphic)

If you are planning on a leaf peeping road trip this weekend and are in search of absolute peak conditions, you may want to stay a bit farther south. . . perhaps the Monadnock Region, Berkshires or the Lake Winnipesaukee area. Again, I wouldn’t cancel a hiking trip to the White Mountains, just temper your expectations a bit.

And keep sending the foliage pictures and reports, they are much appreciated!

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BOSTON (CBS) — Few things say New England more than bursting fall colors this time of year. This weekend may be your best chance to soak it all up, the best New England has to offer, with colors now nearing peak in a large portion of the region.

Every season is a bit different, mainly dictated by the years weather. This year, the drought has had the biggest impact on the fall foliage season and the two words I hear most often are; “early” and “vibrant”.

On average, the peak fall colors have been arriving later and later due to recent warming trends in the fall. This year however, has been just the opposite. Our severe to extreme drought has stressed out the trees across New England. Combine that with a cooler than average stretch in Mid-September and you get an early show of color here in 2020!

(WBZ-TV graphic)

You’ve likely noticed it even in your backyards and neighborhoods in the suburbs in southern New England. . . many trees are bursting with reds while others are already dropping leaves and we are just turning the calendar to October! Take a drive to the north and west and you find near or at peak conditions in just about all of our lakes and mountains regions.

So, where to go this weekend for the best color?

You’ve got lots of choices!

For a nearby drive, I would suggest heading northwest up Route 2 into central Massachusetts or up Route 3 into southern New Hampshire. Here you will find spotty areas of peak color but many trees needing another 3-7 days. Still, lots of vibrant color, especially in low lying, marshy areas.

If you are up for a bit of a longer drive, then you truly have endless choices this weekend!

Peak color can be found in just about all of the mountainous regions of central and northern New England. . . the Greens of Vermont and Whites in New Hampshire are literally on fire with color right now. All the main routes into northern New England would be gorgeous drives including Rt. 91, Rt. 93, Rt. 16 and even Rt. 95 into Maine (just about the entire state of Maine away from the immediate coastline is peaking right now).

Looking to be a bit more adventurous? Take a drive down the Kancamagus Highway in New Hampshire or up Rt. 100 from Plymouth to Waitsfield, Vermont.

(WBZ-TV graphic)

Can’t get out this weekend? Or perhaps you’ve already made plans for a hike or trip north on Columbus Weekend? Many of the more northern lakes and mountains will likely be past peak by then, but it really depends on the weather over the next week as to how much leaf drop occurs. If there aren’t any big storms or strong wind, most trees at low to mid elevation should keep their leaves through the Columbus Weekend, albeit with a bit more of a dull red or rusty tone. Closer to home, a large portion of southern New England, away from the coast, should be near or at peak next weekend. So, perhaps a hike closer by in one of Massachusetts amazing trails (Blue Hills, The Fells, or Mount Watatic to name a few).

And, as always, we would love to see your foliage pics! Send them along to weather@cbsboston.com and perhaps yours will be featured on WBZ-TV!

Follow Terry on Twitter @TerryWBZ

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