Fall Foliage: Wet summer causing leaves to change colors later in the season

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(WTNH) – This is the time of year the leaves start to change color. It’s happening farther north in New England, but not so much yet here in Connecticut.

Some science behind fall foliage is sunlight allows plants and trees to produce chlorophyll, which saturates the leaves, causing them to appear green. When we start to lose daylight, the production of chlorophyll slows and the leaves change to their true colors of yellow, orange, red, and purple.

The weather has a big influence on whether the leaves are vivid or subdued, or whether they start to change earlier or later. A general rule is the drier a summer and fall, the more it will allow vibrant colors that will appear earlier in the season. A wetter summer and all, like what we experience in CT, will cause more subdued colors later in the season.

State Foliage Map

Warm fall temperatures can also cause the leaves to look dull and drop even before they’ve had the chance to change color. The same with drought. Drought can cause leaves to turn brown or drop before changing colors. Windy days can cause leaves to fall sooner.

CT is coming off a very wet summer season with over 28 inches of rain recorded at Bradley International between June 1 and Sept. 30, and just over 20 inches of rain in Bridgeport.

No matter where you live in the state, many are noticing it’s taking longer for the leaves to change.

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