NEW YORK (WABC) -- This weekend might be the best of the season for fall foliage fans as peak conditions are occurring across New York state, Connecticut and New Jersey.
According to New York state, gorgeous peak foliage continues across New York State with some of the best fall colors in the Hudson Valley, according to volunteer observers from the Empire State Development Division of Tourism's I LOVE NY program.
Foliage will be at peak in Dutchess County and Rockland County. Westchester County reports from White Plains anticipate foliage will be peak this weekend with 60% color change and bright red, yellow, and pink leaves. Orange County reports from Goshen expect just-past-peak foliage with 85% color change.
On Long Island, the amount of color change will vary by area. In New York City. obsrvers report a 30-35% color transition.
In New Jersey, it's past peak season in the north, but most of the state is now at peak or near peak. Wharton State Forest in south Jersey is reporting vibrant foliage.
Much of Connecticut is peaking this weekend except for the far north, which is past peak, and the far south, which is nearing peak.
The gorgeous colors of the fall are the result of a natural chemical process taking place inside the trees.
Leaves serve as factories, creating the food that a tree needs to grow. The vivid hue of green that we see all summer is through the constant creation of Chlorophyll - a key component in turning sunlight into glucose.
As days grow shorter and temperatures become cooler, the production of Chlorophyll slows, the green fades away and yellow/orange carotenoids in the leaves spring forward. Other chemical changes give rise to more pigments and those spectacular changes that we see each autumn come to life.
Smokymountains.com has created a terrific tool to help you see where peak color is occurring across the country.
While no tool can be 100% accurate, this tool is meant to help travelers better time their trips to have the best opportunity of catching peak color each year.
Be sure to check the AccuWeather forecast too when planning your trip!