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Here’s when Maryland will see peak fall foliage — because it’s never too early to wonder

The fall solstice may still be weeks away, but autumn enthusiasts can begin marking their calendars for when Maryland’s trees are expected to transition into vibrant hues of red and orange.

The state is expected to see peak fall foliage around the last weekend of October, according to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park’s 2019 fall foliage prediction map. That’s slightly later than last year’s predictions, which called for peak foliage around mid-October.

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The predictions, which Great Smoky Mountains National Park publishes annually, are based on an algorithm that analyzes several million data points from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to generate a county-by-county forecast, according to park spokesman David Angotti.

“Although the scientific concept of how leaves change colors is fairly simple, predicting the precise moment the event will occur is extremely challenging," map data scientist Wes Melton said in a news release. “The major factors impacting peak fall are sunlight, precipitation, soil moisture and temperature. Although we cannot control Mother Nature and ensure 100% accuracy, our data sources are top-tier and each year we refine our algorithmic model achieving higher accuracy over time.”

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