This past Saturday, September 22nd, was the Autumnal Equinox and the official end of summer and start of the Fall Season. Almost as if on cue, good fall colors can be seen over the Rocky Mountain West. This last week in September and the first week in October seem to be normal timing for peak fall colors, this year no exception.
One exception I did note while flying back to the Tetons from the East Coast, on the day of the Equinox, a route that took me over the Northern Colorado Rockies (very yellow at high elevations!) and up along the Wasatch and northern Utah mountain ranges, was how much red there was to the leaves in the mountains of Utah this year. More mountain maples than aspen trees, perhaps?
With the weather the next 7 days or so shaping up to have cooler mornings at all elevations, getting down to freezing or just below, we should see an acceleration in the color change. We will also experience fairly light winds at all elevations thru early next week, which will help to keep the majority of those leaves on the trees.
This is one of my favorite times of the year to get out an hike or ride my bike and soak in the golds & reds, a nice contrast to the greens of summer and white of winter.
Text & photo submitted by meteorologist Jim Woodmencey