Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Wet spring may mean bright fall

By Dan Klepal
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Cooler than normal temperatures this fall should usher in the splendor of autumn's fabulous colors a little early this year - and those colors will be more brilliant and plentiful than usual.

Although today is the first day of autumn, leaves in Southwest Ohio don't typically turn red, yellow, brown and orange until late October.

Go to Cincinnati.com to find:
• Places to view fall colors in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana and throughout the U.S.
• Links to fall color Webcams
• Photos and other fall color information
That could be different this year because cooler temperatures are predicted for the next two months. A change in wind patterns will pour cold air from Canada into the Midwest starting in early October, AccuWeather meteorologists say.

"The lower temperatures may speed the process" of leaves changing color, said AccuWeather senior meteorologist Bernie Rayno.

Fall color traditionally begins with a splash of color in northern Ohio the last week of September, then travels south. Colors peak by mid-October through most of the state.

And it's going to be a good season, said Bill Schultz, a forester with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Forestry. The wet spring and summer in the Tristate means there are more leaves to turn colors this year, Schultz said. Cool, bright days over the next few weeks will add to their brilliance, he added. Ohio has some of the best fall color viewing in the country, even better than Northeastern states. That's because Ohio has a greater variety of trees - especially colorful hardwoods - than New England and other states that draw tourists to see autumn colors, Schultz said. "Ohio doesn't play second stage to anyplace in the country," Schultz said. "There are over 150 types of trees in the state. ... It's an artist's palette of color possibilities."

Different trees produce different colors. For example, buckeye leaves can turn yellow to red to orange. Hickory, sycamore and basswood leaves turn yellow and gold, while oak, cherry and dogwood leaves turn red in the fall.

Enjoy it while you can.

The Old Farmer's Almanac predicts December and early January in the Greater Ohio Valley will average 7 degrees below normal, with heavy snowfall before Thanksgiving.



E-mail dklepal@enquirer.com

Pulfer: After 50 years, what makes Jack Gilligan run?
Korte: Inside City Hall

Ashcroft issues get-tough policy
Friends mourn teen
Archbishop suspends 3 priests
Challengers take swats at city development effort
Savings to begin on drugs
Wet spring may mean bright fall
Now her daddy is home to stay
Miami worker strike delayed
Water park's theme: Australia
Colerain plans for floods
Work on aquatic center begins
Family seeking Down awareness
St. John plans reunion
Vietnam vets' wall to go on display
Regional Report

N.Ky. counties want a jail break
Another lifestyle center coming
Schoolkids brighten underpass with mural
Wilder complex considers new pool
Turtle weathers Isabel
Evansville diocese workers undergoing background checks
Former House Speaker Joe Clarke found dead
Feds: Crash that killed three could have been avoided

Joseph Luebbers, 81, was municipal judge
Geraldine Sutyak took joy in music