The Leaf Change is Underway After a Rollercoaster Ride - KMSP-TV

The Leaf Change is Underway After a Rollercoaster Ride

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And it begins… for many of us it is the beginning of the end as the summer season comes to a close and the transition to winter takes hold. My favorite time of year is when Mother Nature gives us one of its most spectacular shows of color and beauty. When the air starts to cool and mornings becoming crisp, plants and trees start to go dormant in anticipation of the winter and those sub-freezing temperatures. The colors that we see are the response to trees stopping their food making process known as chlorophyll. Leaves are green because the process of making chlorophyll reflects the green part of the light spectrum. It's the same reason why the sky is blue. When trees and plants stop making this Chlorophyll, the leaves will turn different colors based on what other elements they possess and that depends on the type of plant or tree. This is why some trees turn red while others will turn orange or brown. The current fall foliage can be seen in the picture on the right with central and northern parts of the state already showing some color. Clearly these areas will expand quickly over the next couple of weeks, especially in northern portions of the state. Here is the average timeframe that the colors are in peak. Remember that these can fluctuate from year to year based on temperatures and precipitation.

Temperatures have been fluctuating widely over the last week anywhere from the low 70's today to the mid 90's a couple different times.

For those that like the warm weather, it looks like the 90's of 2013 are now behind us with a much cooler looking pattern right through next week (although 80's are still in the forecast). But you can't really complain because we were back above average for overall 90 degree days this year and above what we have seen 4 of the last 5 years. Clearly 2012 was far warmer.

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