Fall leaf colors aren’t here yet in Northeast Ohio and we found out why

Leaves may go from green, to brown, to gone

Fall leaf colors aren’t here yet in Northeast Ohio and we found out why
Picture taken Oct. 22 at the Smolen-Gulf Ridge in Ashtabula shows very little color change for the third week of the month.

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -Three weeks into October and you may have noticed most the trees in Northeast Ohio still haven’t changed to those amazing oranges, reds and yellows.

It’s not just Northeast Ohio either.

Most of the Midwest and Northeast are late with the fall foliage.

“The fall color has been delayed, probably by two weeks,” according to Marek D. Rzonca, owner of The Foliage Network, a website that tracks the color change. “Last year also featured a lag in change."

On Monday we stopped at the Smolen-Gulf Ridge in Ashtabula where there is very little change on the majority of trees.

Anyone else notice the trees just aren’t turning like they normally are this time of year? I’m working on finding out why. These pics taken today at the Smolen-Gulf Ridge in Ashtabula. 🍁 🌳

Posted by Dan DeRoos Cleveland 19 on Monday, October 22, 2018

Last year we dealt with the same issue of a late change.

“September 2017 and this September have had above average temperatures, especially this year,” Rzonca said. “That, coupled with above average precipitation, can certainly delay the onset of color. Very warm temperatures promote the production of chlorophyll, the green pigment in the leaves. During a typical autumn, cool weather signals the trees to stop producing the green pigment.”

Fall leaf colors aren’t here yet in Northeast Ohio and we found out why

The problem with a warm and wet early fall means we probably won’t get the colors we’re used to, especially if we get some windy conditions in the coming weeks especially in the Northeast.

“Now that it’s finally getting cold the colors don’t seem like they will pop,” according to the social media weather tracker Eweather. “Dull colors will likely brown and fall and the forecast nor’easter this weekend will likely take down many of the leaves.”

According to SmokeMountains.com, that has an interactive map to predict peak fall foliage, Northeast Ohio should be at near peak for Oct. 22 and we’re not even close.

This fall foliage predictor says Northeast Ohio should be at "near peak" on Oct. 22.
This fall foliage predictor says Northeast Ohio should be at "near peak" on Oct. 22. (Source: Smokeymountains.com)

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