UPDATE: Fall foliage in western Massachusetts still on track this year

Weather News

AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – There are a lot of questions about the upcoming fall foliage season in Massachusetts.

We had a warm and dry summer, and a significant drought in some areas. But regardless of the weather the spring and summer before, and even the weather during the fall itself, it’s the shorter daylight hours that are the trigger for trees changing color. Less time in sunlight means chlorophyll, the green color, dissipates, revealing the light orange and yellow colors that are hidden beneath. The red and purple colors are actually manufactured by the leaves in the fall.

But weather can play a part in the vibrancy of colors. 

“So if we see continued moisture, in the fall, and we don’t see a warm, humid, drawn out fall, we should see your typical beautiful coloration,” Rick Harper, an extension associate professor of urban forestry at UMass, told 22News.

While there are a lot of predictions of the vibrancy and length of this upcoming season, we won’t have a better idea until we start getting closer to the peak, which is typically in mid October, according to Yankee Magazine.

Some trees are already starting to change, mainly stressed trees, like ones near roads that may have less soil availability.

Fall foliage prediction map for Oct. 11, 2020. (Yankee Magazine/NewEngland.com)

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