As the summer of 2018 come to an end, the season of pumpkin spice....everything, awesome sweaters, and beautiful fall colors is just around the corner. Whether it's looking for an end to the hot and humid weather we experienced this summer or ready to pick some apples from your favorite local orchard, many of us in Central Illinois are ready for Autumn.
When will the fall foliage peak?
For many, one of the best aspects of Autumn is the changing color of the leaves. Typically, Central Illinois will see the fall foliage peak in mid to late October and if the weather cooperates, we should see a great display of fall colors in the next 3-5 weeks.
Why do the leaves change color?
As Summer ends and Fall begins the number of hours of daylight each day begins to fall. With less sunlight, Photosynthesis (the process that uses sunlight and water to create glucose) cannot occur and the green Chlorophyll disappears. Once the Chlorophyll is gone, other pigments called xanthophylls and carotenoids become visible allowing leaves to turn red, orange and yellow.
The quality of Fall Foliage displays across the country depend highly on temperatures and sunlight. Sunny and warm days followed by cool, frost-less nights typically lead to the best displays of fall colors while a good storm that brings a soaking rain and strong winds can make for a less than stunning display.
A few trees are already beginning to show their true colors. With the month of September drawing to an end, it will only be two to three weeks before we begin to see larger patches of Autumn colors across the Central Illinois landscape.
You can find an excellent interactive map of Fall Foliage times here.