MINNEAPOLIS — If you scheduled your fall colors excursions based on when you journeyed out last year or the year before, you’re likely to be disappointed in what you find.
According to the National Weather Service, the changing of the leaves is happening behind schedule compared to 2021 and 2020.
The NWS says that the culprit is the warm September we’ve been enjoying — less so the warmth of the days, but rather the lack of chill in the air at night.
“Temperature and soil moisture together affect fall color. Mild summer drought can increase the fall color display, but warm fall weather can decrease its brilliance. It’s good to keep in mind that local weather conditions will affect local fall color,” Val Cervenka, the forest health program consultant in the DNR’s Forestry Division, said.
Peak fall color season in Minnesota typically begins in mid-September in northern Minnesota. Southern Minnesota typically sees the peak in mid-October.
As of this week, the fall colors map shows no significant areas in Minnesota above 50% peak fall colors.
WCCO viewer Jackie Lutterman, of St. Cloud, shared a side-by-side showing how different the situation was in her neighborhood this year, compared to 2020.