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Fall foliage gets an early, but less colorful, start

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Fall starts on Thursday, but it hardly looks or feels like it. This past summer has been a hot and dry one, which could effect how colorful the months ahead are.

The drought began back in spring, when the trees were just waking up from winter. So the trees have been dealing with dry conditions from the get-go. This is causing the leaves to fall earlier now.
Along with leaves falling earlier, the change in color could be delayed because of the unseasonable warmth we've been experiencing. Cooler temperatures help break down the green pigment chlorophyll in leaves. As chlorophyll breaks down the red, orange, and yellow colors are able to show off.

What does this mean for leaf season in the Valley this year? The leaves are falling before they have a chance to change color, so we have a lot of brown leaves already on the ground. The average peak in fall foliage for Northern Alabama isn't until late October into Early November though, so we still have time until colors should start bursting. As long as we begin seeing cooler overnight temperatures in October, our landscape will still get painted with fall foliage.

You can learn more about the effect weather has on fall foliage here!

Looking for Fall-like weather? There are signs of a slight, very slight cool down next week. Anytime you want to see the specific forecast, it's always online at WHNT.com/Weather and in the "Daily Forecast" section on Live Alert 19!