The crunch of leaves under your feet after months of drought, the autumn breezes blowing hot air all over Southland, reds and oranges everywhere because everything is on fire, there really is no such thing as fall in Los Angeles. But we’re exaggerating (just a little): LA isn’t entirely devoid of seasonal charm, and fall foliage is no exception.
Of course understand when that one drop indicator will actually appear is half the challenge, but luckily SmokyMountains.com has a fall foliage forecast map for the entire country, including the Los Angeles area.
The annual interactive map, which uses an algorithm that pulls data from sources like the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, tells what you probably already know: This Southern California foliage is lagging behind much of the country. . The map determined that LA would go from unchanged foliage to minimal foliage by October 11, with gradual advances to colored leaves every week after that. If you are looking for the peak period, you will have to wait until November 8, but not too long after that, as a week later the peak will have already passed.
Any number of weather conditions can, of course, affect this forecast, including sun, rain and, unfortunately, fire. Although all neighboring national forests have been closed for much of September due to the fire danger, they are open again and luckily, so far, mostly fire-free.
Once we move forward into October, it makes a bit more sense to move from predictions to observations. Natural history wanderings has a roundup of foliage monitoring, including its own weekly reports. And Californian fall color (shout at his tagline “man, fall is coming here too”) records regular photo updates and even maintains a state-wide map which is updated every Friday.
This story was originally published in 2020 and has been updated with the latest information for the 2021 season.