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Sunday, October 10, 2004; Page P01


The New Fall Colors

Although the remnants of recent hurricanes gave trees in the Northeast a good shake and more water than was necessary, the fall color show should be just about average.

"It's not one of the most brilliant seasons, but there are still going to be plenty of nice fall colors," said Jeffrey Schultz, chief meteorologist of Weather 2000, a New York consulting firm.

Leaves are already beginning to peak in higher elevations, but the pace of change varies with short distances, so you need to get localized reports. Get details anywhere in the United States at www.foliagenetwork.com, or at these area-specific sites:

• New England: Find leaf reports, Webcam visuals, accommodations and arty projects involving leaves at www.yankeefoliage.com.

• Pennsylvania: Webcams display up-to-the-minute photos at www.visitpa.com, or call 800-847-4872.

• West Virginia: Suggested driving tours, foliage reports and special deals are listed at www.callwva.com, or call 800-CALL-WVA.

• Virginia: The varied options of leaf-viewing in the mountains and near the shore are at www.virginia.org or 800-847-4882.

• Maryland: The official state Web site hadn't gotten around to featuring foliage as of press time, but everything else you'd need to plan a trip is at www.mdisfun.org or 800-LEAVES-1.

• North Carolina: The coolest color forecaster around is at www.visitnc.com: Drag a little leaf over a dateline and a map of the state lights up, showing you where leaves have begun to change, where they're at their peak and where they've already died. Also check the site for hurricane-damaged roads, or call 800-VISIT-NC.

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