Weather Gadgets

September 15, 2011

WeatherWise: Will the Recent Extreme Weather Spoil Fall Foliage?

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The USA experienced one of the driest July months on record followed by a drenching in late August. Will the recent extreme weather spoil the much anticipated fall foliage? Penn State's fall foliage expert Dr. Marc Abrams doesn't think so.

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Dr Abrams is a professor of Forest Ecology in the School of Agriculture and began studying 25 years ago to determine the particular weather conditions that successfully result in gorgeous foliage. He explains at Fear Not, Recent Extreme Weather No Spoiler for Fall Foliage | AccuWeather:

"Really, one of the most important things is what happens in the end of September and the first two weeks of October," Abrams said.

Cool, crisp temperatures are the key for brightly colored leaves. In those weeks, nighttime temperatures hopefully fall into low 30s and 40s with bright sunny days and dry weather.

But great leaves this fall aren't a sure thing. If the weather stays warm and wet, "that will be a problem. [The leaves] won't go into their normal coloration."

The leaves are brightest when the cool weather starts at the end of September. If the cooldown starts in late October instead, Abrams says that the colors aren't as vibrant.

Planning a trip? The Colors of Fall Road Trip Guide [above] by Jerry and Marcy Monkman details 25 of the best scenic tours during fall foliage season in New England. Available in Kindle and Paperback.

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