One of the best things about this time of year is the fall color. I suppose I’m hopelessly Midwestern because I even enjoy the change in color of the corn fields.
The question I often get is “How will the weather affect this year’s color?” It is hard to answer. Here are some comments I made in a press release a few years ago about the recipe for good fall color.
“Trees and shrubs need to go into the fall without a lot of stress from disease or severe drought. Chilly, not frigid nights and cool, sunny days enhance the changing leaf colors. Detrimental conditions include extended periods of rain or cloudiness that mute colors, high winds that blow leaves off trees, and hard freezes that stop color changes entirely… October and early November in Illinois should put on quite a show. Take some time to go out and enjoy it,” concludes Angel.
Check out the official site of the Illinois Office of Tourism for fall activities. The University of Illinois Extension Service site called “The Miracle of Fall” is an excellent source of information as well. [Update] NOAA has a featured story on fall color that includes a link to a more technical discussion of fall leaf color.