Warm, humid end of summer could mean less vibrant fall colors across NY

Sep 17, 2018

A hot and humid end of summer could result in dampened fall colors in parts of New York this fall.

Taryn Bauerle, an associate professor of plant science at Cornell University, said temperature and moisture are the major drivers of fall colors. 

"If these trees have a lot of water available and pretty warm temperatures, they just aren’t going to shut down and produce that fall foliage as quickly than we might usually expect," said Bauerle. "So we could potentially have a delayed fall foliage showing and a bit muted as well.”

Too much water can also increase the likelihood of diseases in trees if it continues.  If you want to see the best colors, Bauerle said, you need to go where it hasn’t been so hot and humid, which means serious leaf watchers need to head north.

"They haven’t had near the rain and precipitation we've had in the central and southern part of the state," she said. "So I think the Adirondacks region will really be the place to see the fall foliage this year.”

And the leaves have already started turning in the Adirondacks, with 10 percent of  trees already showing some color.