Recent rain won’t help with early dropping leaves amid fall foliage season

Weather News

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A rain and windstorm hit western Massachusetts Tuesday and Wednesday morning. Rainfall amounts ranged from just over an inch, to some areas seeing nearly 4 inches of rain. 

But while that rain could help some areas with their drought, it’s not enough to have an improving effect on the fall foliage this year. The drought is severe in Hampden County, and moderate elsewhere. And because of that, many of those drought-stressed trees are losing their leaves early. 

“The analogy I use is like somebody cutting the straw and the water just wicks out of the plant.  So it doesn’t have a chance to kind of finalize all of the normal processes it goes through,” Rick Harper, an extension associate professor of urban forestry at UMass, told 22News.

According to Harper, it’s too late in the season for the recent rain to make any difference to fall foliage color. If anything, the wind and rain caused more leaves to fall off. Harper told 22News at this point, to help with our leaf peeping season, we should just hope for no more wind storms. 

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