WeatherTalk: Drought may cause less brilliant fall colors

The drought has put many hardwoods into a stressful state, which will cause some to turn color early.

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Early August, more or less, usually brings out the first bright colors of the fall. Sumac is already showing off its redness in patches of savannah and in highway ditches. A few of the early maples will soon follow if they haven't already. The drought has put many of these hardwoods into a stressful state, which will cause some to turn color early. If we start getting regular rain soon, there is still a chance for a brilliant fall. However, it is more than likely that the dry weather will continue.

This will have the effect of shortening the fall color season and rendering it less brilliant. The leaves will go brown and fall off more quickly if the trees remain stressed by lack of rain. Where trees have access to plenty of water, such as around lakes and rivers, the leaves will likely be about as brilliant as usual. Of course, even a less brilliant fall will still be a beautiful scene.

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