ST PAUL, Minn. — Fall is just around the corner, and for many people, that means chasing fall colors. But what kind of fall color season will we have this year?
"It’s still very early, as you can tell, because all the leaves are still green, but there might be a few that are starting to turn,” said Val Cervenka.
Cervenka is the unofficial fall color expert at the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Every year she reads the signs, the weather and the trees, and tries to find the best times and places to see beautiful colors.
"We could be ahead a little bit because of the drought here," she said. "Up north, they probably will be right about on time."
Cervenka said she expects the leaves will start turning color in the northern region around the middle of September. But it all depends on the weather.
"If we have warm sunny days and cool but not freezing nights, that's what creates that bright red color, but if we get rain during September, it could leach out that red color, so it could be more dull,” Cervenka explained.
She says the drought will be the biggest factor this year.
"In a drought, the leaves may change differently. They may not even change color before they dry up and fall off. So, that’s the bad part about drought and fall color," Cervenka said.
In some areas, you may not see any colors at all, but others you might see a lot of color.
Cervenka says it could be a very hit-or-miss type of season, but overall...
"I do think this will be more of a typical year, because we have had more of a rainfall, then no rainfall, then more rainfall. So, I do think that there will be some great fall color to be able to look forward to,” Cervenka said.
The DNR's Fall Color Finder is all green right now, but starting next week, they will start taking reports from state park rangers across the state, so Minnesotans know where to go to see the best colors.
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