The 2013 foliage season just kicked into high gear! Fall colors have advanced significantly, particularly in the northern part of the Midwest, while New England is showing some color in the north.
Astronomically, the first day of fall is Sunday, September 22, when the sun’s perpendicular rays cross the equator. Each day gets shorter, causing a chemical reaction in the leaves that leads to the color change. As days become cooler and shorter, the trees’ ability to make chlorophyll, a pigment that keeps the leaves green, decreases, causing the leaves to become red, orange and purple.
The fall colors are now pretty widespread across the higher elevations of northern New England. Leaves are yellow in northern New England, from New York to Maine.
New England Tips: Take a north-south road from the major cities into the northern tier. Consider a north-south highway like Interstates 81, 87, 89 or 91. This will get you to the edge of the mountains, after which point, there’s numerous state roads that allow for a loop into the better fall colors. If you want to take an east-west road, consider U.S. Route 11 through northern New York or U.S. Routes 2 or 4 through northern and central Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.
Northern Minnesota is awash in bright orange and red, with pockets of moderate color already visible. Similar results can be seen in the Michigan Upper Peninsula and northern Wisconsin, where the green hues are mixing with orange and yellow.
Mid-West Tips: The best highways to take you through the best colors are U.S. Route 2 and U.S. Route 8, both of which are east-west roads that make their way through central Minnesota and northern Wisconsin. Route 2 emanates from Duluth, Minn., before heading for the Michigan Upper Peninsula, while U.S. Route 8 starts in the Minneapolis suburbs and winds its way east toward the border with Michigan. U.S. Route 51 (which is Interstate 39 south of Wausau) bisects some of low to moderate colors.
If you are planning to check out the foliage, be sure to grab a jacket — mornings can be chilly!
Be sure to check to any potential rain or thunderstorms, especially in upstate New York.
Stay Safe. Know Before™.
-The WeatherBug – Earth Networks Team