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When Will The Local Trees Change Colors?

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The autumnal equinox, also known as the astronomical beginning of fall, will take place on September 23rd this year.

According to a post from the Old Farmer’s Almanac, the autumnal equinox marks the official start of autumn or fall. Following this celestial occurrence, the days progressively become shorter than the nights, resulting in later sunrises and earlier nightfall. As this begins to happen, less sunlight means the leaves begin to change colors and eventually drop. This transition continues until the winter solstice, which signifies the shortest day of the year. Subsequently, the days gradually begin to lengthen once again, symbolizing hope and renewal. To accommodate the changes in light , we observe daylight savings time.

In terms of daylight saving time, according to federal law the clocks should be turned back an hour on the first Sunday of November.(In most states across America the uniform time code aka daylight savings time is followed. Illinois is one of the states that observes daylight savings time). This year, we will roll our clocks back on Nov. 5, with clocks rolling back one hour at 2 a.m. that morning.

Ahead of that, the Chicago area, including West Chicago is expected to witness its first sunset before 7 p.m., as stated by Time and Date. By September 23rd, we will be receiving less than 12 hours of sunlight each day.

As per the National Weather Service, the changing of colors in some trees across central parts of Illinois usually occurs in late September, reaching their peak in mid-October to early November. However, this year’s “peak fall foliage” may be affected by the prolonged drought conditions, causing drier leaves to fall quicker than those retaining some moisture.

Typically, the duration of peak fall foliage ranges from two to four weeks, depending on the region. However, due to the dry conditions, this time frame may be halved this year.

It’s interesting to note that Central Illinois will experience minimal changes in leaf colors until October, while the northern part of the state, including Lake County, will start to see patchy changes sooner. It looks like the peak fall colors will occur in Northern Illinois by mid-October, with the rest of the state catching up shortly thereafter.

For those planning a trip to admire the beauty of fall colors, it would be advised to consider moving up the timeline of the trip to ensure the best viewing experience of the season’s natural wonders. If traveling in the broader United States check out SmokyMountains.com, a travel brand dedicated to promoting the Smoky Mountain region, produces a fall foliage map every year, show when areas in the U.S. will near, reach, and surpass peak colors. They use historical temperature and precipitation data, forecasted temperature and precipitation, the types of trees known to be in the area, and user-reported information to develop their fall foliage forecast. While it may not be completely accurate, it does offer insight into how soon the autumn colors will peak.

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