By Ron Smiley


PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Fall has officially arrived. While temperatures have been rather summer-like over the past couple of days, a more fall-like pattern should be arriving by the time October rolls around.

With the transition to fall comes one of the pleasant and understated joys of the changing seasons in Pennsylvania, the changing of colors of area leaves on trees.

Don’t let the national forecasts trick you into believing that this fall will be void of plenty of color here in Pennsylvania.

Signs are pointing to a vibrant and beautiful viewing season that should peak around October 10 – 17 here in Central Pennsylvania.

Photo Credit: KDKA

Photo Credit: KDKA

If you’re willing to take a drive the entire month of October should provide good viewing in some part of the state.

The vibrancy of fall leaves is determined, to an extent, by what goes on during the previous summer.

This summer was notable for the wet start and late arrival of heat along with little rain during the end of August and all of September.

Overall when you compare our annual rain amounts for this time of the year they are just slightly behind (-0.63” as of September 25th) where we should be.

The up and down pattern of summer has meant some minor stress on trees with the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Bureau of Forestry saying that premature leaf drop is only minor at this point.

The past two weeks have brought clarity to what we should expect with dry conditions, little rain, and cool mornings helping to add to the expected vibrancy of leaves.

State scientists say that leaves are already changing their colors in the northern portions of the state.

We should really begin to see the changing of colors locally by the first weekend of October with probably three pretty good weekends of viewing at any local state park.

If you head out for the first weekend of October than heading southeast into the elevated portions of the state would likely bring the best viewing.

Special thanks to the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Bureau of Forestry for help in writing this preview of fall colors.

The department releases a weekly update on fall foliage that can be viewed here.

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