Expect a great year for Colorado’s fall colors
Experts say the precipitation over the summer months will help our fall colors flourish in just a few weeks.
Author: Rachel LeuthauserPublished: 10:40 PM MDT September 3, 2019
COLORADO, USA — Colorado always looks good. It will arguably look even better in about two weeks.
Get your camera ready. We’re approaching leaf-peeping season.
The leaves will first begin changing in the northern parts of the state around September 15.
That’s about the average date they start turning, according to the Colorado State Forest Service at CSU.
Entomologist Dan West said it’s supposed to be an amazing year for those fall colors. The change came early last year because of the drought. The forecast this year is timing out perfectly.
“This year because of so much precipitation we really have still seen them still green,” West explained. “They’ve had perfect growing conditions all summer long. It was always wet, but they look like they’ve had adequate growth and it’s going to be a good show this season.”
The best weather for fall foliage is sunny, warm days and cool evenings, according to West. The leaves stop photosynthesis and the chlorophyll fades. The cool temperatures at night then trap the sugars in the leaves that make the yellows, oranges, and reds more pronounced.
“It looks like we’re set up pretty good with abundant sunshine,” West said. “We’re sitting just about perfect to have a really great show. Warm temperatures are perfect for growing. They’re still doing their photosynthesis right now.”
Leaf-peeping caused a lot of traffic on I-70 last year.
CDOT estimated there were hour-and-a-half delays for people driving up to the mountains on the weekends in September 2018.
The fall changes will surely get a similar amount of attention this year.