When can we see bright fall colors around Kansas City?

Weather

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — We’re moving through the fall season and starting to really feel like it around town.

Morning temperatures have dropped into the 50s almost every morning this month (nine out the first 12 mornings), and even into the 40s early today and three times in late September. The high temperature Monday was only 65 degrees as well.

With cooler temperatures overall, signs of fall colors are starting to show up around the Kansas City area.

Current color conditions are minimal to partial as most trees are still pretty green, but there a few trees that are already going through the changing process.

Trees outside of my apartment in Kansas City, Missouri. Slight color change from green to red here. Photo by Alex Countee
While most trees are still green, some of those tops are changing. Photo by: Alex Countee

From our FOX 4 towercam, you can see only a slight change on the treetops from green to a slight yellow.

So, the big question: what types of weather gives the best and brightest colors? And will we see those weather conditions for the rest of the month to help? Well, a good mix of temperature and moisture are the driving factors.

According to the U.S. Forest Service, consecutive warm and sunny days and cool, crisp nights are best for peak color intensity. These conditions tend to bring out the reds and sometimes purples. But, a harsh summer drought or a warm stretch of fall days can mute or diminish the fall colors.

Some occasional rounds of rain (with no strong wind to rip leaves off trees) is also helpful.

While some trees are starting to change, the peak of the color season typically happens around this part of the country late this month, about the last ten days of October.

Peak Fall foliage map for the United States. Peak time for us is late October.

Looking at the second half of this month, the trend is definitely on the above-average side of things, which may harm the fall colors depending on how warm we get over the next couple of weeks.

Above-average temperatures are expected for most of the Lower 48 through Oct. 25. Average highs for Kansas City during this time are 63-66 degrees.

At least we’re still anticipating rain tonight into tomorrow morning and another round Friday as well before a possible lull in activity towards peak color time.

Four-day forecast as of Tuesday, Oct. 12.
The Long Range Precipitation forecast may not support good amounts of additional rain in late October.

Be sure to send us pictures of the trees around your area and neighborhood and we’ll get them on the air!

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