ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — We’re steadily marching toward the second half of October, and color is slowly but surely starting to come around.

We’re noting steady improvement in color locally, particularly yellows. While much of our local area remains just below “Near Peak”, we’re quickly approaching that category. Higher elevations across parts of the Southern Tier are now Near Peak to Peak. Peak color is occurring in the Catskills and Adirondacks where parts of their higher terrain are now already Past Peak. Bottom line, this weekend and perhaps even next might feature some of the best color locally. Given the current state and forecast, the transition from Near Peak to Past Peak might be more abrupt than usual this year.

While recent days have shown some acceleration in color change locally, we remain somewhat concerned recent (and forecast) warmth will continue to hamper both the pace and brilliance of this year’s display. It’s one of several factors working against us as Christine explains here:

While conditions as a whole might not be as supportive as last season, there is no doubt at least scattered pockets of great color will still exist. It may just take more exploring than usual to discover this year.

Have any photos of the latest foliage? Share them with us!

Weather and Leaves

The weather is a key player in the rate of color change during this time of year. The most ideal conditions to produce quick changing, vibrant colors are cool, crisp nights in the 40s and mild afternoons in the 70s. If daytime temperatures are too warm for too long, the color can come off more dull and not as vibrant, and last one to two weeks longer than usual.

We’re going to need both cooler overnights and afternoons if we want to really see that color pop, but temperatures in the next week or so do not support that notion. It’s because of this that our own predictions for leaf peeping are running a bit slower than usual.

Leaf Peeping Predictor 

Beware the rain and breezy condition this weekend. That wind could take a bite out of the density of the display for some.

Check back every Wednesday/Thursday for the latest foliage updates!

~WROC Weather Team