I had been thinking the fall colors here in Seattle seemed more stunning than usual this year, and it turns out I was not wrong. Whenever there’s a noticeable change in how the plants behave, I start to worry and fret about global warming, but in this case it’s aprobably just a minor pattern shift, nothing to worry about.
The Seattle Weekly had a squib in their most recent issue about this local phenomenon, an unseasonably dry fall with warmer days and cooler nights than usual, plus fewer early-season windstorms to knock all that gorgeous foliage to the ground. Since there is no link to the article on the Weekly’s site, I will quote a portion of it here for those interested in the science behind fall leaf color beauty:
“The brightest foliage colors come when the nights are cool and the days are warm, explains atmospheric sciences professor Mark Stoelinga. This “diurnal effect” stimulates the chemical process that turns leaf color. Clouds, which we usually have plenty of this time of year, hamper this effect because they act like a blanket at night, stopping heat from radiating upward, and a barrier during the day, preventing the sun from permeating downward.”
Of course, now that we’ve had a few of those wind storms, I’m regretting not having spent more time walking around looking at and taking pictures of all the lovely leaves. Oh well, even on the ground, they’re quite something.
Who knows when we’ll get a fall like this again, but I’m glad to have seen the beauty that it produced. Did anyone else notice any odd weather changes this autumn in your region?