Stunning fall color expected this season

Linda Gallagher, Contributing Writer

Photo courtesy of Dawn Alger 

This year's peak fall color, as shown above, may come a bit early in northern Michigan, according to experts, after a moist and relatively cool summer has encountered a number of chilly nights in recent weeks.


REGION – After a moist and relatively cool summer, and a number of recent chilly nights, many deciduous trees in Antrim and Kalkaska counties have already been changing into their fall wardrobe, with some already donning the crimson, scarlet and gold colors of a spectacular northern Michigan autumn.

But experts are saying that, for the most part, the peak of northern Michigan's fall color will again develop in late September and early October.

"To make a forecast of peak fall color time, let’s start with the long-term historical average timeframe for Michigan’s fall color," said NWS meteorologist Mark Torregrossa. "The Upper Peninsula usually has peak color in the first week of October. Northern Lower Michigan typically peaks in fall color between Oct. 7 and 14."

However, this year so far has been a bit different, Torregrossa said.

"By mid-September, I usually see a tree branch here and there with lots of fall colors of yellow, orange and a little red. But this year I’m seeing many trees with the whole tree showing a faint burgundy color.

“I’d say this year is more advanced overall, on the subtle hint of fall color,” he said. “This year’s low-grade, widespread color could mean leaf color is pacing earlier than average."

The cooler than average temperatures of the last two weeks, and an already advanced backdrop of fall color, seems to be pointing toward earlier than normal fall color in Michigan, the meteorologist noted.

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