Some portions of the Northeast have a chance at vibrant fall foliage based on forecast weather, while drought-stricken parts of the country may not have much of a display.
Warm and wet weather through the remainder of September and into the first couple of weeks of October would not be good news for leaf-peepers in the Northeast, according to Dr. Marc Abrams, a professor of Forest Ecology and Physiology at Penn State. Abrams began observing how weather conditions affect fall foliage 25 years ago.
A late and muted peak in fall colors would be expected if warmth continues into the second week of October.
Instead, Abrams added, ideal weather for a colorful fall would be drier weather through the remainder of September with colder temperatures, dipping into the 30s at night.
"A frost helps to bring out the color. What happens is that the chlorophyll - which causes the green color of leaves - starts to break down. This basically exposes the other pigments like red and orange," Abrams said. On the other hand, persistent warm and wet weather would extend the growing season, causing leaves to stay green.
A frost and freeze is most likely for upstate New York and north-central portions of New England during late September, according to AccuWeather Lead Long-Range Forecaster Paul Pastelok. This region will have the best chance for a bright and colorful fall.
While nights can get cool farther south, temperatures are not predicted to get cold enough to produce a frost before October, Pastelok added. For the big cities along the I-95, including New York City to Washington, D.C., the central Appalachians and Ohio Valley, the mild weather may mean a late peak of fall foliage with subdued colors.
Typical peaks in fall foliage color across the U.S.
While warm, wet weather limits the bright color display of leaves, the opposite - abnormally dry conditions - can also have a negative impact. Drought conditions can impact the leaf size, vigor and physiology, and exceptional droughts can even kill trees.
Hard-hit drought areas of the Midwest and Plains, especially Iowa, Nebraska and Missouri, are probably not going to have a good display of fall foliage this year, Abrams said.
The red color on the U.S. Drought Monitor map shows extreme drought conditions, while the deep red shows exceptional drought conditions (the highest level of drought).
Extreme to exceptional drought conditions are gripping much of the nation's heartland.
Rainfall will be scarce around Washington, D.C., this week, but cool air will be plentiful.
The chilliest air of the season so far will settle over much of the Northeast Thursday into Friday and will bring frost to more areas than experienced frost early this week.
Tropical moisture from the approaching Odile will deliver another round of heavy rain and flooding downpours to the interior Southwest by the middle of this week.
The remnants of Odile have the potential to bring heavy rain and flooding to parts of the Plains and Midwest late this week after hitting the Southwest.
Edouard has become the first major hurricane in the Atlantic since Sandy. While remaining at sea, rough surf will reach some Atlantic coast beaches.
A raging wildfire, which erupted Monday afternoon, has damaged or destroyed more than 100 structures and has forced the evacuation of hundreds of residents in Northern California, near Weed.
Upper Plains (1881)
General snowfall across NW Iowa and southern Minnesota. A total of 6 inches in Stuart, IA.
San Felipe Hurricane struck Palm Beach 27.43 inches of rain, enormous damage -- floods on Lake Okeechobee, drowned 1,836; 1,870 injured as dikes around the lake caved in during hurricane.
Mid Atlantic (1933)
Carolina-Virginia Hurricane: 28.25 inches of rain, 76-mph winds at Cape Hatteras -- great wind damage in VA and MD. Twenty-one lives were lost; $1 million damage.