DNR launches Fall Color Finder for 2021

We will have a few weeks of summer left in Minnesota, but the leaves will be changing soon.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources launched its Fall Color Finder to get ready for the upcoming season.

Fall Color Finder as of August 23, 2021.

Fall Color Finder as of August 23, 2021.  (M / FOX 9)

So far, northeastern Minnesota is the only area that has begun to change.

Unfortunately, this year’s drought could cause the colors to be less vibrant than usual.

How will the drought effect the fall?

The biggest thing you'll likely notice is the lack of fall colors. Trees don't produce brilliant fall colors when they're stressed. Often times, they will go dormant as fast as possible in the fall to conserve stored up energy to bloom in the spring and hope that there will be more moisture around then for them to survive. 

This quick dormancy often means that trees don't stay active long enough for their leaves to run through the spectrum of colors. So they go from green to brown quite quickly. This isn't necessarily the case with every tree, so there will still be at least some fall color, especially in metro areas where homeowners have been watering. But overall, experts expect a pretty dull color season this year.

Other noticeable changes with a significant fall drought are larger temperature swings from morning to afternoon because the dry ground is more efficient at both warming and cooling. Ponds and lakes could actually begin freezing sooner because there is less water in them allowing the water temps to fluctuate more easily. Our fire season will also likely last longer as plants go dormant sooner. This could lead to additional wildfires that are larger and more intense.

Have more questions about the drought? Find the answers here