AUSTIN (KXAN) — While Central Texas isn’t exactly known for vivid leaf colors in the fall, we do sometimes get treated to some beautiful fall foliage this time of year.
During the first week of December 2022, we were treated to some rather beautiful colors, even in downtown Austin as seen from this photo below.
According to ExploreFall.com, our leaf color is in the “low” category right now with parts of South Texas experiencing little to no color change at all.
By mid-November we’ll be trending closer to moderate color, especially in parts of the Hill Country.
When do colors reach their “peak” in Central Texas?
According to ExploreFall.com, within 2-3 weeks from now we will arrive in what is normally “peak” fall color here in Central Texas.
This map shows you that late November is when we typically get our “best” colors of the year.
Factors impacting fall foliage
Peak fall foliage doesn’t always arrive at the same time each year, or with the same variety of colors.
According to the U.S. Forest Service, the three factors that determine the timing and color quality of fall foliage are the weather, the pigment of the leaves and the increasing length of night. Of those three factors, the length of night is the most impactful and predictable, but the weather can add the special touches that make some years more vivid than others.
The longer nights helps to shut off the production of chlorophyll in trees. Once the chlorophyll goes away, the green color of leaves disappears, revealing the remaining pigments ranging from yellows, to oranges and reds etc.
The U.S. Forest Service suggests warm sunshine during the day, followed by chilly nights above freezing usually lead to the “best” colors in fall foliage. Too much rain, or not enough, can help or hurt the leaf color, speed up the change or slow it down.
As the leaves start to change color where you are, send your photos to email@example.com and be sure to check your e-mail for a media use form so we can show your pictures on air/online!