November is officially here and the colors are at peak or fading to full on brown winter dullness! The heavy (record) rainfall we saw yesterday along with the silly strong winds, gusting to near 50mph at times, will help to strip the trees.

This weekend, while cool will still provide some good weather to see the last glimpses of colors on the trees as a few state parks are considered at peak color. Which is still a treat as we are in the start of November, and almost all parks should be fading by now.

When should we normally start to see the peak leaf colors here in Ohio?

In a normal weather year (which we have not had in some time), we would already be seeing peak to almost past peak in the north, and be at peak in the central part of the state and near peak in the south.

Why this might be the last fair chance to view the colors now!

Many of our parks are changing from peak to fading or past peak before our wild Halloween weather. The heavy rain and the wind are the two worst things for the leaves staying on the trees this time of the year.

Speaking of the rain, it is good for our drought conditions, but the 1-2″ of rainfall that we saw Thursday (1.51″ a new record for Columbus on Halloween) made the leaves quite heavy, and then the winds at 30-50mph at times will be a shocking blow to many of the trees.

(in the image above, areas in green were estimated at 1-2″ of rain)

There are still a couple handfuls of parks that will be in the peak range for the this weekend to start November, but there will be a lot less leaves left with color after this powerful cold front! Scroll down for a current listing of the state parks.

What is good for color changes?

Ideally, you want things wet and non-stressful for the trees during the growing season, and all summer long.  Droughts and prolonged periods of hot and dry weather are bad.

Bad weather conditions early could cause a shorter, or even weaker color change for the Fall.  Also, wet weather is fine in early September, but you do want to get a good amount of sunshine by late September and October.  This will promote more of the chemical in the leaves that turns them green to get broken down.

We also want warm days and cool nights to help promote this process, and help to push forward with helping the yellows, reds, and oranges to show up.  Another key is not to have heavy rains in Autumn or big wind storms, that will weigh down on the weakened fall leaves and cause them to fall quickly.

Below are the current conditions reported by ODNR at our state parks:

If you have questions about Autumn leaf color changes, what to expect, or any other weather questions, email me,