First Alert Weather In-Depth: Fall colors not as brilliant?

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. For many folks, this is their favorite time of the year in Western New York because of the pretty fall colors.

The challenge is matching the nice weather with peak colors. Unfortunately, there is some evidence that the colors are not going to be quite as brilliant this year. Why is this? It is the lack of rainfall during the spring and summer seasons.

Starting in the month of March, through much of the summer, we had below-average precipitation. And it was not until August that we started to make up that deficit. It is this lack of rain that can stress the trees and potentially reduce the vibrancy of the colors.

The very latest from New York State shows the progression colors for this upcoming weekend. These volunteers report on the latest estimate for color change at their location. The Adirondack mountains, near Old Forge or Saranac Lake in the higher elevations, show a changeover at 80 to 90 percent.

Maybe you are heading down towards Hunter Mountain in the Catskills? That area shows a 60 to 80 percent change over. The southern tier, near Olean, has a chance at running in the 30 to 50 percent range.

And if you are going to be close to home in Monroe County the changeover is only 30 percent and that color depends on how close you live to Lake Ontario. In portions of the Finger Lakes the changeover is at a much higher percentage, maybe closer to 60 to 70 percent.

Looking ahead to the forecast for the fall foliage, we know the colors will be changing pretty quickly. We expect in one week Rochester will be approaching peak and in two to three weeks it will be past peak. So time is of the essence when it comes to the fall colors.