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Where autumn colors are beginning to make an appearance

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Some low levels of color are beginning to show up, mostly across the western half of the state.  The best weather for bringing the fall colors out include sunny/mild days and chilly nights, which will be in plentiful supply over the next week.  One important ingredient in the equation is adequate rainfall.  Thanks to last weekend’s storm that brought one to three inches of rainfall, we are in good shape as of now.

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Color data courtesy of the Foliage Network & Virginia Dept of Forestry

However, before last weekend’s storm, we finished an August with rainfall almost two inches below normal, and a September about three-quarters of an inch below normal.   Dry weather tends to increase acorn production, which is showing up now in some trees.  Dry weather also tends to mute to the vibrancy of the colors.  Hopefully, the recent rainfall will help offset the dry period and allow the colors to reach maximum levels.

In a typical year, peak color hits northwestern parts of the state during mid to late October, central Virginia in late October to early November, and southeastern parts of the state in early to mid to November.

We will continue to update the fall colors over the next few weeks.