September 22, 2017

Dry Weather Might Mean Less Time To Enjoy Fall Colors

Fall foliage in Brown County, Indiana. - stock photo

Fall foliage in Brown County, Indiana.

stock photo

Fall colors have begun to appear in some parts of the state thanks to an unusually cold start to September, but they might not last long. 

While temperatures in recent days have been above normal, daytime highs in early September in Indianapolis were in the 60s and 70s, with overnight lows in the 40s on some days creating nearly ideal conditions for colorful leaves.

The best fall color formation happens with bright, warm days, cool nights and moist soils, according to Carrie Tauscher, DNR Division of Forestry’s Community & Urban Forestry program coordinator.

Lately, all of Indiana has experienced bright, warm days, but overnight lows and soil moistures have varied dramatically throughout the state, and low rainfall totals are threateing to shorten the window for full color enjoyment.

Nonetheless, the tourist towns of southern Indiana such as Nashville, Madison and Medora shouldn’t fret, Tauscher said. Sassafras and sweetgum trees in forest understories and along roadsides regularly give a great show of red, orange and yellow. Colors will vary statewide, and can even vary from county to county.

The full forest fireworks show in central Indiana should begin in the next two to four weeks depending on weather, and continue for several weeks as long as the state doesn’t experience windy storms, Tauscher said.

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