Unseasonably hot weather into early autumn could dull the fall foliage this season in Maryland. AccuWeather.com is predicting a delayed and perhaps shortened leaf-peeping season.

AccuWeather predicts peak color may arrive in much of Central Maryland in late October, and around mid-October in areas at slightly higher elevations north and west of Baltimore.

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The foliage season could be slightly late and short as summer-like heat lingers into the end of the month. Temperatures hit the lower 90s around Baltimore Monday for an eighth time this month, and could approach or surpass that level Thursday and Saturday.

Still, it may not be as poor a foliage season as the region saw last year. An excess of precipitation and sustained heat in the summer and fall meant that in many areas, leaves fell off of trees while they were still green.

“Similar to last year, it may be a slow start to color in the Northeast given the warmer-than-normal weather forecast for most of the end of September,” AccuWeather meteorologist Max Vido said.

According to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, fall color has started arriving in Western Maryland. About 30% of leaves have changed color along the Interstate 68 corridor.

The Foliage Network, which tracks leaf color change across the country, is not reporting any significant signs of autumn in the Mid-Atlantic, and low levels of color in New England.

According to the network, foliage is at its most brilliant when days are mild and evenings are cool, but not below freezing. Weather throughout the year can affect foliage, too. The best foliage comes after “a warm and wet spring, typical summer conditions, and mild, sunny autumn days with cool evenings,” the network says.

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