Greetings again from October country, where the leaves are starting to change color on the trees. The timing of peak color varies from year to year, but the average for Chicago area is mid to late October.
What makes vibrant fall leaf color? Warm sunny days and crisp, cool nights. You can read more about the leaves changing color here.
The dazzling leaf colors we associate with fall may not be so bright in the future, according to ThinkProgress. In the northeast, the drought they experienced this summer will affect the colors of the leaves this year.
And, there are not so many crisp, cool nights below 40 degrees, according to Wxshift. The first frost comes later, too. The growing season is 15 days longer than 100 years ago.
The longer growing season means a longer season for insect pests as well. A warmer climate is more favorable to mosquitos that carry West Nile Virus, dengue fever and Zika. A warmer winter will not kill their larva or the larva of such invasive species as the emerald ash borer.
This time of year is also hurricane season. The warmer ocean water can contribute to more intense storms with stronger winds and torrential rains. Think of the impact of hurricane Matthew and Super typhoon Haima—now heading for the Philippines.
The effects of changing climate can be subtle as a falling leaf--and wild as the latest 1000 year rain.