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Fall foliage preview

Jason Samenow @ 12:00 AM

fall foliageWhen you get up and head out this morning, it will be as cold as it's been since May 4. Mornings such as these accelerate the changing of foliage, which had just commenced in our western suburbs. photographer Kevin Ambrose captured some of the the season's first reds in Reston (pictured on the left) on Monday.

While the current stretch of cool nights and dry weather will be conducive to the changing foliage, September's above average rainfall may result in somewhat muted colors this season. An article from the University of Georgia says "slight drought conditions in the last half of the growing season and on into the fall" are most conducive to vivid colors. (That hasn't been the case for us.) And any areas that have frost this morning may have paler reds as early frosts tend to weaken brilliant red foliage, according to this article at Having said all that says "With such variables as temperature, rainfall and sunlight, no one can truly predict how brilliant the foliage will be in any given year or how long it will last or when it will peak but it's assuredly the subject of endless speculation..."

Fall foliage resources
On average, our colors peak in late October -- mid October for the Skyline Drive
At the beginning of the post, I said it would be cold. Just how cold is it? Click here for a map of current temperatures.

After this morning's cold (and in some places, frosty) start, expect a beautiful afternoon -- blue skies and highs near 70.

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