Dry summer could lead to dull fall colors

Dry summer could lead to dull fall colors

Dry summer could lead to dull fall colors

Some Minnesotans are trying to savor the last days of summer while others are already looking ahead to the fall.

Autumn can be one of the most beautiful seasons here in Minnesota, but it depends on the perfect combination of sunny days, cool nights and rain at the right time.

“I don’t know if it will be beautiful, it could be a quick drop. I was hoping to see some pretty fall colors,” Reid Bordson-Nolle, a Bloomington resident, said while out on a bike ride at Minnehaha Falls on Tuesday.

But the dry summer means more trees than usual across the state are stressed and already losing leaves.

Dry weather also means fall colors this year could be muted.

“This is one of the worst years in drought stress for trees and landscapes,” said Gary Wyatt with University of Minnesota Extension.

Wyatt says while drought typically means dull fall colors, bright, vivid colors are still a possibility. The recent rain has helped, and the weather in the next few weeks will be the final ingredient in the recipe.

He says color change typically begins in mid-September.

“Depending on how cold it is or warm it is affects leaf structures. A warm September with moisture will lead to more colors than a cold, dry September,” he said.

The DNR starts updating its “Fall Color Finder” every Thursday in September and October. To follow the map, click here.