Answer: With algorithms!
Because nothing is safe from computer algorithms these days, SmokyMountains.com has debuted an interactive map to help people plan their fall trips. While the 2018 Predictive Fall Color Map is not 100 percent accurate, it should give users a pretty good idea of where to go and when to see the best colors of fall.
The algorithm uses data like historical temperatures, precipitation, forecasts and leaf trends. Its timeframe for predictions runs from Aug. 27 to Nov. 19, displaying when different areas of the country are approaching peak foliage, at peak foliage, and even past peak foliage.