Fall colors not far away

Weather

With the arrival of the fall equinox, it won’t be long now before the season’s most dazzling display – the changing leaves. 

Here’s when autumn color typically peaks around the QCA. 

The Role of Weather

Like always, our weather will play a role in the timing & intensity of fall foliage. 

Sunny days and cool nights are best for colorful displays. This type of weather breaks down green coloring faster and allows sugars to build up in the leaves, enhancing red and purple pigments. 

Clouds and warm nights have the opposite effect. 

If temperatures drop too much, frost will form, damaging leaves while the color-changing process is still underway. 

Drought Effects

Drought conditions can also have an impact. 

Severe drought often causes trees to go dormant quickly, leading to brief, muted fall color. 

Less severe drought, more like what we’ve seen, often just delays trees from changing color. 

Whatever foliage we get, enjoy it when it’s here. Winter will be right behind. 

Sources: Iowa DNR, U.S. Forest Service, Climate Central

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