Mark your calendars: the leaves will be the prettiest in the Pittsburgh-area mid-October.By Celina Pompeani

By: KDKA-TV News Staff

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – With the end of Labor Day comes the unofficial start to fall, and the changing leaves aren’t far behind.

According to the Smoky Mountains’ 2020 Fall Foliage Map, colored leaves could be popping up around the Pittsburgh area as early as Sept. 21, but those will only be “minimal.”

It’s not until Oct. 19 that north of Pittsburgh will hit its peak, with the city and the southern counties just around the corner the next week.

Leaves turn colors during the fall because chlorophyll — which usually makes them green — slows to a stop as the days shorten. The leaves then fall to protect trees from freezing during the harsh winter months.

The 2020 Fall Foliage Map is meant to help travelers plan their trips to catch the peak color each year, but it’s not 100 percent accurate.

Meanwhile, while Labor Day signals the unofficial end of summer, our temps won’t feel like fall yet — tomorrow we’ll be stretching for the 90s.

Celina Pompeani