Changing Of The Colors?

Hopefully you are reading this blog outside with your computer rather than indoors for we are experiencing fantastic days ahead. Temperatures are forecasted around the mid-70s for the next few days, throughout the weekend. The omega block (as mentioned above) is slowly moving as expected creating stellar days for us to enjoy the comfortable outdoor weather. For some northwesterners, this means shorts and t-shirts, along with tailgating as we move into the weekend.

It never seems like the season of Fall until school starts up, football season beings, and the color of the leaves start changing. Now what exactly does it take for trees to make this change in proportion to school and football? There are three factors that influence how fast the process happens and the quality of the changing of the colors- the amount of moisture throughout the year (rain), temperature, and sunlight. With the days getting shorter the amount of sunlight is decreasing which affects the pigment in a leaf that creates its color. Among that, it has been warmer and drier than average throughout most of the country which is delaying some processes around the Midwestern states. Interestingly, should temperatures drop below freezing temperatures overnight, trees can “cut off” leaves in preparation for winter and let them brown up and drop to the ground without reaching the orange or red color that is expected in the fall. The image below brought to you by the Weather Channel is the prediction of when the fall colors will reach their peak. For the Red River valley, this will not occur until mid October.

-Kellen Peters