Early peek…when to expect peak fall colors

(Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

COLUMBUS (WCMH) – About this time every year, I start showing the latest conditions on the color changes here in Ohio.  If you have been around the state, you will notice the typical early color changing trees starting to show some gold colors.

Unlike last year, when we had a hot and dry August, we did not have that this year, so we shouldn’t see the early stressed colors like we did last year.  However, with autumn officially starting Friday late afternoon, the days are getting shorter, with sunlight time nearing 12 hours right now.

Chlorophyll in trees it what helps it gather energy from the sun, and also gives leaves their green color.  As daylight fades in the fall, the chlorophyll breaks down, and sugars build up in the leaves.

This is what helps to start the color changes in the trees in the fall.  Bright, sunny, dry days help keep this process going, and cool evening temps generally in the 40s to upper 30s will keep the colors vibrant and wowing!


When do we normally see the peak color changes in Ohio?

This year, our color changes should appear right around the normal times.  Below is an image that shows about when we see the “Peak” color changes in the state.

Notice it mostly is earlier north (except near warm Lake Erie), and later in the south.

Just because the peak times are in October across the state, does not mean that you can’t see great colors before and after this time.

In fact, we are starting to see some spots in the state that are changing a bit already.

Below are the fall Leaf Color Reports from ODNR.  Obviously, most parks are still mainly green, but there are some changes to be seen.

In the north (above) things are green now, and will be green a bit longer near the lake.

In the central part of the state we are seeing mainly green colors too, with some light changes from the early color changers.

These colors will start to change a bit in the next 7-12 days as we round out the month.  The plentiful sunshine and comfortable nights should help this out.

In the southern part of the state, we typically see our latest changes, however, there are parts and low spots that are cooler that see great color changes too.


Remember to check back in weekly:

I will continue to update the lists every week to keep you up to date on where you can see the best color changes before you make your weekend plans.

If you ever see great pictures, make sure to tag me on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook at @davidnbc4   also, you can use the hastag #nbc4i as well.

You can always share pictures to my email dmazza@wcmh.com or use our Storm Team 4 weather app!  Its free and easy to use.


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