Will all this rain lead to vibrant fall colors?

Or dingy and soggy leaves?
Posted at 11:16 AM, Sep 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-26 11:16:37-04

Fall is finally here and now we wait for the leaves to change. But the color can be greatly influenced by summer and fall weather conditions. 

Let's break down what leads to brilliant reds, yellows and oranges and which elements spoil the fall color.

Summer Weather

The Tri-State had a warm summer that ended with very heavy rainfall. Temperatures were not extreme so in general, there wasn't a lot of overall stress to trees. This should bode well for us this fall as good summer moisture promotes good tree health and leaf retention.

Autumn Weather

Since we know our trees are well hydrated from all this rain (more than 10 inches above average at this point in 2018), it really comes down to the conditions over the next three weeks to get those perfect fall hues. 

The red color we see in leaves is enhanced by cold, sunny days, according to Harvard University. We are entering a stretch of cooler, drier days -- so at least for the next five days, we have the right weather conditions.


But one thing that can really muddle up our fall foliage is more heavy rainfall. Windy conditions from storms or bursts of heavy rain can knock leaves down from trees early. 

As it stands right now, we could see a beautiful, colorful show in the weeks ahead. We just need the forecast to cooperate!

For more information on the science behind our leaf color chance, check out Harvard's resource page HERE.

The leaves are already changing in certain sectors of the county. Here's the fall color map for September 24th to October 1st. 

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