It’s that time of year again when the leaves start changing colors. As we move into the Fall season, the foliage transition is upon us, with leaves changing colors from bright green to rich yellows and ambers. The timing of the color change varies depending on where you are. In Michigan, the Upper Peninsula experiences the color change a little earlier than the Lower Peninsula, but the timing is similar overall.
SmokyMountains.com has recently released its annual Fall Foliage Prediction Map, which forecasts when the color change will reach its peak and when it will be past peak viewing across the entire United States. However, it’s important to note that predicting the exact dates that Michigan’s fall colors will peak is not an exact science and is subject to change based on local weather patterns.
Peak Fall Colors in Michigan
The website predicts that most of Michigan will start to see near-peak color change at the beginning of October. Peak color changes will be seen on the east and west sides of the Upper Peninsula around October 9. Around that time, Michiganders will see peak color change in most of the Lower Peninsula and in the central Upper Peninsula. The east and west sides of the Upper Peninsula will be past peak color change by then. Finally, the entire state will be past peak color change by the end of October.
If you want to see the changing colors at their brightest and boldest, they recommend that you head outdoors during the first week of October.
During spring and summer, leaves are green, which is the color of chlorophyll that turns sunlight into food for the tree. However, two things happen in the fall that cause chlorophyll to break down: diminishing sunlight and colder temperatures. This is a natural process and part of the tree’s transition to winter mode, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. As the chlorophyll breaks down, the leaves change into other colors. Sunlight diminishes at the same pace every year during the fall, but temperature changes in October could affect the timing of the leaves turning.
Check out the complete predictions map here.