We’re almost to the middle of October, which means the leaves are starting to change colors around Iowa.
We often to get enjoy vibrant colors in all corners of the state, including the yellows, reds, oranges, and even purples. Unfortunately, leaf-peepers might be a bit disappointed this fall. We will still see some fall colors, of course- but it is likely that they will not be as intense this fall.
Due to the recent wet weather and cloudy conditions, the leaf colors may not be as pronounced this year. According to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, cloudy days produce less brilliant colors because the chlorophyll in the leaves breaks down slowly and the red pigments are not formed quickly enough.
Windy and rainy weather can often cause leaves to fall prematurely, too. The best type of weather for bright fall colors is warm and sunny days with clear and cool nights.
Here’s more information about why leaves get their colors, courtesy of the Iowa DNR.
Currently, most of the leaves around Iowa are still green. Here’s a map as of October 9 that depicts where the brightest colors can be seen.
Based on information released from the Iowa DNR, northeast Iowa is beginning to see the colors develop, especially for Virginia creepers, sumacs, maples, walnuts, elms, cottonwoods, basswoods, and ashes.
Closer to central Iowa and north-central Iowa, there are still many green leaves on the trees. The DNS says the wet weather has caused leaf diseases on many oak trees which will pose issues for the colors. The peak color in this region is still a few weeks away.
In southern Iowa, some vibrant colors are beginning to show through, even though the overall landscape is still green. Experts with the DNR expect that the leaves will begin to change over the next few weeks.