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Autumn color change under way

5:32 AM, Sep 24, 2008   |    comments
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9NEWS Meteorologist Marty Coniglio took an aerial tour over parts of the Front Range to see how the fall colors are progressing, while 9NEWS Meterologist Nick Carter checked on the ground.

Marty flew from Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport into South Park near Eleven-Mile Reservoir and noted the change in color is about 20-30%. Therefore, for those who like the contrast between the bright gold and light green in a stand of Aspen, this would be a perfect weekend to take a drive through mountain areas from Park County to the north.

Marty also noted fresh snow is staking its claim over the higher peaks and in shadowed canyons in Park County.

On his way out of South Park, Marty followed U.S. Highway 285 right over Kenosha Pass and reported brilliant patches of fall color, but like areas farther to the south, the amount of trees changed is about 30%.

The peak color change for the northern and central mountains should start on Friday, September 26 and continue through Friday, October 3. It will be a bit later for mountain areas along and south of Highway 50.

The brilliant display of fall leaves that cover the state each September and October is primarily regulated by the calendar.

As days grow shorter and nights grow longer, biochemical processes in the leaves cause them to lose their green tint and develop red, orange, gold and brown tints before the leaves fall to the ground. Temperature has very little to do with the process. Therefore, it is easy to predict when the color change will occur.

Autumn officially begins in Colorado at 9:44 a.m. on Monday, September 22.

For more information, visit our Autumn Colors in Colorado page by clicking here.

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