Prime fall foliage in Central PA occurs in mid to late October. The counties north of I-80 notice the change first. Then a week later the southern counties catch up. Last year’s Fall foliage was a bummer. The colors were lackluster and the peak didn’t last long. So, what kind of weather do we need this year to have prime fall foliage?
Prime Weather Conditions: To get prime fall foliage we need warm, sunny days and cool crisp nights. A dry pattern and low humidity help the colors reach their peak. The lower the dewpoint temperatures the cooler and crisper the air will be. Which will lead to better color. Frost can damage or kill the leaves. Strong winds and heavy rain can cause the leaves to fall off the trees before they can fully develop their color.
Last year (2019): September through October was warm and humid.
September (2019): The average temperature in September for Altoona is 61.7 degrees. The average temperature last September was 66.6 degrees. That is 4.9 degrees above normal. The average dew point temperature for the month was 56.53 degrees. Last September was a dry month. Altoona received 1.66 inches of rain, which is -1.80 inches below normal.
October (2019): The average temperature in October for Altoona is 51.1 degrees. The average temperature last year was 55.2 degrees, which is 4.1 degrees above normal. The average dew point temperature was 45.58 degrees. October received 5.37 inches of rain last year, which is 2.77 inches above normal.
2020 Outlook: So far this September has been cool, dry and the humidity has been lower than the past couple of years. If this continue this year’s fall foliage will be better than the past few years.