Fall foliage affected heavily by changing weather

Weather News

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – The vibrancy of fall foliage is heavily impacted by the weather conditions both before and during the fall season.

Temperature, sunlight, and rain all affect the vibrancy of the red, orange and yellow colors we see in the autumn. Lots of daytime sunshine and cool nights promote vibrant colors, especially reds and purples.

Recently, we’ve been a little dry, which can cause some leaves to fall prematurely. UMass Extension Associate Professor of Urban Forestry, Rick Harper, told 22News the dry weather will affect the fall foliage of some plants.

“It’s been quite dry in the month of September, so some plants, if they’re stressed, they’re in an exposed site, start to shed their leaves early,” said Harper. “Not holding those leaves and expressing those beautiful brilliant fall colors that we love.”

The best weather for brilliant colors includes ample moisture in the growing season, which we had this spring, and dry, bright warm days with cool, frost-free nights.

We had one chilly night Friday night into Saturday, but Springfield’s City Forester Alex Sherman told 22News the foliage should be more vibrant this year than last, which was noticeably dull.

Currently, the best foliage in Massachusetts is in Franklin County, but we still have a few more weeks until the peak.

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