The Fall Leaves Will Change Color Later This Year — Here's Why

Warmer weather may be nice, but it also means that the leaves will take longer to change color

Skyline Drive through the foliage at Shenandoah National Park, VA
Photo: Getty Images

Good news for those still hanging on to summer: trees across the country are going to stay green for a little while longer this year.

Though some have already embraced sweater weather and are happily downing all things pumpkin-flavored, fall foliage will hit its peak about a week later than usual this year, according to the Weather Channel.

The delay in color can be attributed to warmer weather, as the leaves need warm, sunny days, but cooler nights to turn their vibrant oranges, reds and yellows, and temperatures stayed high through late September.

Fall officially started on Sept. 23, and this season is expected to bring in bright-colored leaves thanks to a wet summer, the Weather Channel reports.

Tree lovers in parts of Colorado and New England, like Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine, should already be seeing lots of leaves put on a show, according to a Weather Channel map. Their trees started changing in late September.

Acadia national park
Getty Images

Those in upper Midwest states, like Minnesota, Wisconsin and northern Michigan, plus upstate New York, central Pennsylvania, the western half of Wyoming, and select parts of Montana, Colorado and Utah should just be getting into their peak foliage season in early October.

By mid-October, nearly all of the Midwest, including Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and North and South Dakota, plus West Virginia and Pennsylvania, eastern parts of Tennessee and Kentucky, sections of New York and Massachusetts, and portions of Utah, Montana, Colorado and Wyoming will change.

Southern states like Tennessee, Missouri, and Arkansas, the Pacific Northwest (Washington and Oregon), and eastern areas like Connecticut, New Jersey and New York City can see their leaves change in late October.

Meanwhile, down in Georgia, North and South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas will hit their stride in early November.

The Weather Channel reports that some parts of the country, like parts of Utah and Wyoming, likely won’t get any colorful leaves at all this year, as they’ve already experienced their first snowfall of the year.

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