Meteorologist: Don’t Dally. Get Out and Enjoy the Colors Now

It ain’t over yet. Fall colors are at peak in many areas around the state. Downtown Eugene is lush with vibrant reds, oranges, and yellows made even more striking against the evergreens.

Downtown Eugene

The Aufderheide segment of the West Cascades Scenic Byway is finally at peak as is the area around Silver Falls State Park.

Aufderheide (courtesy: Oregon Bliss)

All season long we’ve been checking in with meteorologists to see how the weather is impacting the colors. Today, we hear from KEZI 9’s chief meteorologist, Justin Stapleton.

“Typically, the state of Oregon is dominated by mainly reds and yellows for our fall colors, with most of the color burst happening by mid into late October. However, the dry early fall got things off to a later than usual start. While it may have taken a bit longer to get to peak conditions in Western Oregon than we’re used to, the past few weeks have seen an explosion of reds, yellows, and oranges in the area’s maple, ash, and cottonwood trees.

Silver Falls State Park (courtesy: Michael Burkhardt)

The chilly nights in early October really kick-started the color change and recent walks along the river path in Eugene or on Oregon State’s campus were worth the wait.

So what can we expect for a finale? Currently, the Cascades are just starting to move past their peak point as they got an earlier start than lower elevations. However, the Coast, Willamette Valley, and most of the foothills are still in full peak. 

Albany Canal (courtesy: Jimmie Lucht)

With the recent stretch of wetter weather, some of the fall foliage has taken a hit and turned sidewalks, driveways, and bushes more multicolored than they would otherwise be.

We’re starting to see stronger storms brewing in the Pacific and with that comes heavier rain and our typical windy days, both of which are starting to tear off the leaves from branches. There’s a chance for some heavy rain coming over the next few days so expect to see more and more gaps in the trees, signaling the beginning of the end of our fall color season, which should be complete over the next few weeks.

The later than average start to our season might help to hold on to some color, especially the reds and yellows into the first few weeks of November. But as mentioned, the storms are getting stronger, and each one brings more wind and rain, so don’t dally if you want to snap some great shots. Some areas of particular good late season color are both Oregon and Oregon State campuses, Hoyt Arboretum in Portland, or my personal favorite, a nice long run along the north or south bank of the Willamette near Autzen Stadium in Eugene.”
Catch Justin Stapleton’s forecasts weekdays on KEZI 9 News.

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