ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — It’s October and leaves are starting to change color in parts of Virginia.
The loss of daylight and cooler temperatures helps to commence the color change. The chlorophyll that gives leaves their green color starts to break down in these conditions. As the amount of green chlorophyll decreases, yellow, orange, and purplish-red pigments being to show.
The exact color of the fall leaves depends on the types of trees where you live.
The optimal weather conditions for bright fall foliage are sunny days, cool nights, and an adequate amount of soil moisture. In other words, not too dry, not too wet, but just right. Think of the Goldilocks effect.
Cool seasonal temperatures and sunshine help to form anthocyanins, which are responsible for the purple and red pigments in fall foliage. Periods of abnormally warm days and nights, as well as cloudy skies, can negatively impact anthocyanins. This results in muted fall colors.
The amount of rain an area receives can also impact foliage. Periods of dry weather can cause the leaf color change to be delayed. Drought conditions can cause leave to turn brown and fall early.
While there should be an adequate amount of moisture, too much rain can cause issues. Unusually wet and cloudy weather can result in dull colors.
Even as more fall colors pop, heavy rainfall and windy conditions can easily bring the colorful leaves down early.
You can share your falls colors to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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