North Texas

Why Fall Foliage May Not be as Vibrant This Year Due to the Drought

Texas A & M Forest Service states that “A summer without significant rain could lead to autumn without significant fall colors."

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It doesn’t really feel like fall in North Texas and it doesn’t look like it either. The latest fall foliage report shows that the leaves have only started to turn in parts of the Intermountain West, the Great Lakes and the North East. No fall foliage in Texas.

North Texas doesn’t typically see the leaves change color until mid-November.

Since it has been so hot and dry this year when the leaves do start to change colors they may not be as vibrant as years past. Texas A & M Forest Service states, “A summer without significant rain could lead to autumn without significant fall colors. Despite some late summer rain, much of Texas remains abnormally dry or in some stage of drought, and trees across the state are continuing to show signs of stress.”

We had a significant dry stretch over the summer and we are in another one now. This past summer no rain occurred at DFW Airport from June 4- August 9, making it 67 days without rain. Our current dry streak is up to 32 days.

We have been rain free since September 2. 

Record rain in August helped erase some of the drought in North Texas, but it is still drier than normal. Moderate drought is still present in Collin County, as well as areas surrounding the DFW Metroplex.

To the southwest, extreme drought is present in parts of Erath and Bosque Counties. 

The long-range forecast continues to call for warmer and drier conditions in Texas. La Nina is forecast to around this winter contributing to that warm and dry forecast.

NBC 5 Chief Meteorologist Rick Mitchell explains why the leaves on trees change color in the fall.
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