Here in Central Pennsylvania we are beginning to see a slight change in the colors of the leaves. Normally mid October is when fall foliage peaks in Central Pennsylvania. As of the latest fall foliage report, we are a couple weeks behind schedule.
The reason behind the slow change in the colors this fall is because of how warm we have been. The average high and low temperatures for early October is 63-65 degrees Fahrenheit and 44-46 degrees Fahrenheit, but most of our daily highs have been in the upper 70s to the lower 80s. The low temperatures have mainly stayed in the mid to upper 50s and 60s the past several weeks. That is about 10-15 degrees above average for this time of the year.
September 1st-15th is the average first frost in Central Pennsylvania. We have yet to receive our fist frost this fall. The first frost is crucial because that is when the trees usually begin to shut down their food production and begin to break down their Chlorophyll. It’s the breaking down of the Chlorophyll that makes the leaves change their colors.
The temperatures need to fall more for the leaves to change colors. Forecast show Central Pennsylvania is expected to reach its peak fall foliage in the last week in October. Expect the peak fall foliage season to be shorter this year and not as bright. We can thank the well above average temperatures for that.