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When will the leaves reach their peak color in Michigan? Here are two resources.

Sep 22, 2016

September 22 marks the official first day of fall, which means the summer heat will soon give way to everything pumpkin, cider and colored leaves.

Pumpkin is already here (in the form of a pumpkin spiced latte at Starbucks), and your local grocery store will almost certainly have cider.

But what about the leaves? When will they change color?

SmokyMountains.com has released a nifty prediction map that estimates when leaves peak in each state, giving Michigan residents foresight of when to look for leaves. 

According to the map, those in the Upper Peninsula and northern Michigan are predicted to see partial color and the leaves will peak around October 7 -- and for those in Michigan's southern portion, the peak is expected to come around October 14.

But dates for peak colors can be hard to predict. The Foliage Network notes:

... the weather has a strong impact on the foliage season. It can dictate the timing of the foliage, the intensity and type of colors seen, and the duration of time the leaves will remain on the tree. Ideal foliage is produced by a warm and wet spring, typical summer conditions, and mild, sunny autumn days with cool evenings (which stay above 32° Fahrenheit).

The Network says they have "foliage spotters" to help predict when the leaves will reach their peak.

And if you're wondering why the leaves change colors? Mark Vodak of Rutgers University has your answer:

And if you can't wait to see fall leaves, take a peak at the top right section of Michigan Radio's website. We've added some colored leaves to celebrate the autumnal equinox.