Hot weather, drought delays fall leaf color change

Fall color forecast

Fall is here and finally it will feel that way after a heat wave over the past week ends.

However, the high heat and drought will affect autumn colors.

Fall color will be a little delayed because it has stayed so warm, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

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Peak color is expected in the Miami Valley the last week of October into the first week of November.

This year, the drought already has caused trees in cities and neighborhoods, and even on the edges of parks or along the highway to begin to change. This is because the soil in those areas is a lot drier and more compacted. The trees are stressed, so they can shut down a little faster.

The good news is our state parks and forested areas have deeper soil moisture, which means fall colors will still emerge.

Hot weather delays this fall's leaf color change

“You get out to the state lands or state parks or metroparks, they’re going to have some pocketed deep forest areas where they have the deep soils and have retained moisture throughout the year. They’re going to have great fall color,” ODNR’s Tyler Stevenson said.

The latest fall color report shows that this week (Oct. 2) Caesar Creek is still green, while Buck Creek, Indian Lake, Grand Lake St. Marys, John Bryan and Sycamore State Parks are all beginning to change.

During the rest of fall, cool nights, sunny days and a lack of strong winds will help create the best color.

Your Storm Center 7 team will bring you weekly updates and forecasts if you want to get outside.