Fall colours expected to be 'spectacular'
Conditions are set for a spectacular, Technicolour display of fall foliage over the next few weeks, according to weather experts. (CARLOS OSORIOS/TORONTO STAR FILE PHOTO)
After the great summer we’ve had, get ready for “nature’s bonus.”
That’s how David Phillips, senior climatologist with Environment Canada, describes the season when leaves turn fiery red, deep burgundy, orange and burnt sienna.
With the first full day of autumn arriving Thursday, there is nothing to suggest anything but “a spectacular” viewing season in the coming weeks, Phillips said.
The conditions this summer have laid the groundwork for an ideal season, which should peak in southern Ontario just after Thanksgiving Day on Oct. 11.
All summer, we’ve had lots of sunshine and an ample supply of rain.
“The trees are in great shape and showing no distress,” said Phillips. “If there’s been drought, leaves will turn brown and fall early. Trees don’t even like smog, so this has been a perfect season for them.”
The warm temperatures all summer have warmed the Great Lakes, meaning the colour change season will be a little bit delayed this year.
Though the long-range forecast suggests we might see a touch of frost, it won’t be a killing frost that can lay bare all the glorious colours.
“Everything is working towards making this the most spectacular, Technicolor season we’ve seen in a long time,” Phillips said.
Of course, the other end of the equation is that lots of sunshine will allow the leaves to show off their brilliance in a blaze of glory.
“The weather for viewing is almost like the frame for the perfect picture,” Phillips said. “We’re going to see rain this week, but we won’t see any remnants of hurricanes or wind storms.”
Nothing wrecks a fall colour change season like wind, rain and frost. Except for some rain this week, no frost or gale-force winds are on the horizon.
Colours are affected by a variety of elements, such as daylight hours, elevation and latitude. Colour changes come quickest at higher elevations and the further north you go.
Currently, we are seeing small pockets of change in northwestern Ontario towards Thunder Bay and Kenora, according to Ontario Tourism’s website parksreport.com. In Central Ontario, the Parry Sound area is reporting just the odd tree with small pockets of orange and red.
There is hardly any colour change in the GTA.
To view a live report of the colour changes in Ontario and to see the peak viewing times for various parts of the province, log on to Ontario Tourism’s website www.parkreports.com/fall.
--Curtis Rush, Staff Reporter