Cancel Preloader

Graphics: Fall leaves may be less vibrant in 2023 as foliage suffers under excessive heat

Can you feel it? That fall feeling has begun.

The autumnal equinox, which marks the beginning of astronomical fall in the Northern Hemisphere, signals the beginning of a shift in the landscape to brilliant hues of red, yellow and orange. Days will shrink as the sun rises later and nightfall arrives earlier, until the winter solstice.

Trees across the country usually transition slowly to more vibrant colors. But scorching heat and humidity that hung over most the Great Plains, Midwest and South this summer probably will affect how colorful our fall foliage will be.

Summer’s record-setting heat dome hit central US

In August, several regions in the middle of the country sweltered in heat that was either record-breaking or very close to it.

Can’t see our graphics? Click here to reload.

According the U.S. Drought Monitor, the number of lower 48 states that experienced drought increased for the eighth week in a row as of Sept. 5.

Dull colors can result from drought and extreme, persistent heat because they put trees under more stress. Any spring or summer drought can stall the beginning of color. A drought or extensive heat at the end of the summer, which is the case this year, may result in trees going dormant early for the winter and losing their leaves.


Related post