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John Wheeler, WDAY, Published September 14 2012

Weather Talk: This summer’s drought likely to mute fall colors

Fall colors are on the increase. However, the drought this year may have the effect of muting the color display to some extent.

The relationship between weather and the fall leaf display is a complicated one. To get the most brilliant fall colors possible, the summer should be sunny and warm (but not too hot) with average or slightly below average rainfall.

Our summer drought obviously misses this standard and will cause the colors to be a bit browner. To maximize the effect from here on, we should hope for the fall to be sunny and cool, with a few light frosts but no hard freezes and no big winds, both of which cause leaves to fall prematurely.

But no matter what the weather has done or will do, there will be colors, and they will be beautiful. They always are.

Have a weather question you’d like answered? Email weather@wday.com,

or write to WDAY Stormtracker, WDAY-TV, Box 2466, Fargo, ND 58108

Read the blog at http://stormtrack.areavoices.com