Unusual warmth ruining fall foliage season
Some might like it hot — but not if you want eye-popping fall foliage.
The ongoing summerlike heat in the Northeast has dulled some of the annual foliage spectacle there, where leaf-peeping typically brings in millions of tourists and hundreds of millions of dollars.
The muted colors have come in a year in which experts had originally predicted the cool, wet summer would produce spectacular October foliage, especially in New England. But the summer was followed by a very hot, dry September, which allowed the leaves to continue producing the chlorophyll that keeps them green.
Without chlorophyll, the yellow and orange pigments of the leaves become dominant, the Weather Channel said.
Overall, vibrant fall colors occur when three factors come together: The days get shorter, dry weather prevails, and the temperature drops, according to Michael Day, University of Maine research professor of physiological ecology.
While the days got shorter and it’s been very dry recently, sustained cool to cold weather hasn’t arrived yet.