How Weather Affects the Tri-State's Fall Foliage

Check out the science into the changing of the leaves and also when to expect peak fall foliage in the Tri-State.

Posted: Sep 6, 2021 12:35 PM
Updated: Sep 6, 2021 7:36 PM

The summer season across the Tri-State is winding down. Even in early September, we're already experiencing glimpses of the autumn season with longer nights and cooler mornings.

An extended break from the heat is nice but I know many are looking forward to Mother Nature's annual makeover of fall foliage. Have you ever wondered what goes into the changing of the leaves and also when should you expect the peak fall foliage in the Tri-State?

To properly break this down, let's think about the trees right in your backyard in the springtime.

In the growing season, trees depend on longer daylight hours, rainfall, and warmer days to turn green. During the spring and summer, trees are green longer because they are producing high amounts of chlorophyll which is a green pigment produced through photosynthesis. In the autumn, less sunlight occurs, meaningless chlorophyll is produced. This chemical imbalance allows for other pigments such as red, orange, yellow, and eventually brown to takeover.

If you are a fan of a graceful and long-lasting fall foliage, there are a few things to consider when it comes to the weather.

Firstly, an extended stretch of dry weather can cause leaves to brown and fall from branches quickly. An early-season frost can also make trees stress and shed their leaves early.

The best conditions for gorgeous fall leaves include warm autumn days, cool nights, and a ton of sunshine. This allows an abundance of sugars to be created during the day, to then be trapped in the leaf at night.

In the Tri-State, we typically experience peak fall foliage from late October into early November.

29° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 22°
30° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 23°
Partly Cloudy
28° wxIcon
Hi: 42° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 20°
33° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 26°
Partly Cloudy
27° wxIcon
Hi: 41° Lo: 24°
Feels Like: 21°
Monday morning, we will see partly sunny skies with temperatures still in the mid 20°s. By the afternoon, we will be warming up into the mid 40°s with cloud coverage increasing. This is due to a cold front expected to traverse the tri-state overnight Monday.
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