Forecasting Oregon’s Fall Foliage

Hello Fans of Fall!

Welcome to Oregon’s Fall Foliage Hotline for 2018. We’ll be starting our seasonal reports in the coming weeks as color just starts to change, so subscribe to the blog here and keep on the lookout for updates.

Before the season arrives, we had our annual check-in with KEZI Meteorologist Marisa Woloszyn to get a better idea of what to expect, and learn about a few of her Fall favorites from the Eugene/Springfield area of Oregon.

Ready to plan your trip? Find Fall ideas here.

Read below for Marisa’s forecast, and visit the blog in early September for the first reports of the season!

Can you tell us a bit about how color change happens?

The color of leaves changes due to the shortening days and cooler temperatures in fall.

Plant cells rapidly divide at the base of a leaf but don’t expand, which causes a blockage to form between the leaf and the stem. This blockage stops the transport of nutrients and minerals to the leaf to produce chlorophyll, the natural chemical the gives a leaf its green color, slows and eventually stops.

Is color change different at higher or lower elevations?

Color change happens faster at higher elevation because daytime and overnight temperatures get cooler faster in the fall season.

When would you expect the color shift to start in Oregon this year? 

The colors will start to change at the higher elevations in early October. Down into the valleys, the colors will start to change by mid to late October. 

What are your favorite spots to see color change?

My favorite spots to see fall colors are at Armitage Park, right by the McKenzie River, Alton Baker Park, and on the University of Oregon campus.

Do you have a favorite fall activity?

My favorite fall activity is to go apple picking. I love being out in the crisp fall air, sipping cider, eating some apple pie, while searching for the perfect apples.

Thanks, Marisa!

Eugene - Marie Jacobs Park - Deigh Bates

Throwing back to 2017’s Fall Foliage at Eugene’s Maurie Jacobs Park. Photo from Deigh Bates

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