Climate change delays start of fall foliage


SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Climate change and our delayed start to the fall foliage season this year go hand and hand.

According to Climate Central research, Springfield’s average autumn temperature has increased since the 1970s, an over 2-degree jump. Which, climatologically speaking, is actually pretty significant. And changing leaves love cool night time temperatures. It’s one factor that helps the leaves change color faster and become more vibrant.

It was a very warm September, and even though shorter daylight hours are one of the factors that trigger the fall foliage colors, the relatively warm temperatures have slowed down the color change this year. That’s why we have such little color here in western Massachusetts, when typically our fall foliage colors peak in mid October. Since climate change is here to stay, this will be a pattern we’ll likely see more of in the coming years and decades. 

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