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What's Up with Late Fall Foliage?

It's the most wonder-fall time of the autumn season for many along Lake Erie. The leaves have F-I-N-A-L-L-Y reached peak color. Did you notice that they took a little longer to change this year?

Fall foliage usually reaches peak color in late October for WNY, but as of this year, the Great Niagara region is still only ranging from "mid-point to near peak" color. Check out the fall foliage report provided by I LOVE NY from October 21st-27th (above).

During the fall season in 2020, the leaves told a whole different story with almost all of upstate New York at and/or past peak color. The 2021 map shows the fall foliage report from October 15th through the 21st, which still was a whole week earlier than what we see in the latest report.

Pennsylvania tells a similar story with even later peaking foliage. Through this past week, all of western PA reached it's best color, which is about two weeks later than usual. Peak foliage in Erie County along Lake Erie tends to reach best color early-mid October, and here we are with only a few days left in the month finally seeing all those popping colors.

Pennsylvania and New York were not the only states to see later foliage. Almost all of the Northeast has seen later than normal change of colors. So, what's up with the late change?

It has everything to do with the precipitation and rain. Throughout the summer, many areas throughout the Northeast saw wetter and warmer than average conditions. October itself had many days with above average temperatures, which delayed the leaf changing process. Not only do warmer temperatures delay the process, but they also happen to create duller colors once the leaves do change. This is because too much moisture is sticking around in the air "telling" the leaves to continue the photosynthesis process.

It's still not too late to go outside and enjoy those bright vivid reds, yellows, and oranges this week. So go ahead and grab that camera and see what you can find! Here are a few photo's I snapped around my home in Union City, PA. The change may be later, but the trees still put on a good show this year.

-Meteorologist Jordyn Jenna

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