Midwest Fall Colors Report

Fall Colors at Weldon Springs State Park at Sunset Oct 28. Photo by NWS employee Kirk Huettl


Illinois - Fall Color Report by UI Extension

Wisconsin - Fall Color Report

Iowa - Fall Color Report

Indiana - Fall Color Report

Missouri - Fall Color Report

Michigan - Fall Color Report

Minnesota - Fall Color Report

Kentucky - Fall Color Report

NWS Jackson, KY Webcam

NWS La Crosse, WI Webcam

Cool Autumn Weather Reveals Nature's True Hues

Fall Colors across United States - US Forest Service

Why Leaves Change Colors - US Forest Service

Fall Colors - NWS Chicago

What Triggers Fall Colors


Here are some
 helpful links for you to keep track of the fall colors across the Midwest.


Photos above are courtesy of the Iowa DNR, the University of Illinois Extention and the Missouri Conservation Department

Send us colorful fall photos you want to share!
        
Web Master's E-mail: 
w-ilx.webmaster@noaa.gov

Many people think that cold weather is solely responsible for the color change in leaves, but not so. Leaves begin to turn before we have any frosts. Change in coloring is the result of chemical processes which take place in the tree as the seasons change.

During the spring and summer a food-making process takes place in the leaves, within cells containing the pigment chlorophyll. This gives the leaf its green color. The chlorophyll absorbs energy from sunlight and uses it in transforming carbon dioxide and water to carbohydrates, such as sugars and starch.

 In the fall the decrease in intensity and duration of sunlight, and the cooler temperatures cause the leaves to stop their food- making process. The chlorophyll breaks down, the green color disappears and the yellowish colors or other pigments already in the leaf become visible. 

Autumn weather conditions favoring the most brilliant colors are warm sunny days and cool, but not freezing, nights. A few hard frosts can cause the leaves to wither and fall from the tree without changing color. The degree of color may also vary from tree to tree. Leaves directly exposed to the sun may turn red, while those on the shady side may be yellow. When warm, cloudy and rainy weather dominates the fall season, leaves tend to have less coloration.  (This section compliments of NWS La Crosse)

Some trees across central Illinois are beginning to change colors during late September.  Fall colors usually peak from mid October into early November across central and southeast Illinois.


   fall pond

Maple Trees in full color at Detweiler Park in Peoria on Oct 21, 2009. Photo by Douglas HanburyMaple Trees in peak color at Detweiler Park in Peoria on Oct 21, 2009. Photo by Douglas Hanbury

fall tree



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