How the Weather Can Impact Our Fall Colors

With longer nights, cooler temperatures, and meteorological fall now upon us, I thought it’d be a good idea to give a fall foliage forecast.

The first fall foliage report from I Love NY came out early September with changing conditions expected for parts of eastern NY, especially into the Adirondacks.

Leaves get their green from chlorophyll, and as sunlight fades because of the calendar, chlorophyll also fades within the leaves, allowing the other colors to come out.

Dry and sunny days, followed by calm and cool nights, help the most when it comes to providing brilliant colors. Ample soil moisture also helps.

Wind, rain, freezing temperatures, and drought conditions are weather conditions that can hinder fall colors.

Let’s take a look at the current and expected conditions.

The soil moisture is abnormally dry because of the overall dry summer we experienced. If not enough water supply or rain is provided, leaves may fall too soon this autumn.

As of now, we expect average to slightly above-average precipitation through much of October.

We don’t expect any extreme cold with above-average temperatures expected through October. Here’s a link to a previous blog talking about the mild pattern.

Wind will be the biggest question mark as it’s difficult to predict wind events more than a week or so out. A big wind storm can also cause premature leaf drop.

The average peak foliage for Western NY is early to mid-October with much of our leaf drop occurring later in the month into early November. Because of the milder temperatures, we’ll be running a week or so behind.

Overall, we should see enough rain to overcome any lack of soil moisture. This combined with plenty of mild days ahead and cool nights should help produce a brilliant array of colors in the coming weeks. Peak foliage will occur around mid-October.

Just keep those fingers crossed so no big wind storms move through around that time.

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