As August comes to a close on Wednesday, a look back at rain during the month in Colorado Springs and Pueblo shows, we’ll end up below average. The monsoon is not as fruitful in August as it was in July, when both cities ended up above average for rain.
While that may not be good news for drought and agriculture, there is a silver lining. As leaves begin to change due to a loss of daylight, weather conditions play a role in how vivid the colors are in a particular year.
According to the U.S. Forest Service, the biggest impact on dull or vivid colors comes from weather. Warm and dry days with cool, but not freezing nights, make for the brightest colors.
In the images below you can see that the Climate Prediction Center’s three-month outlook for September-November shows, we are more likely than not, to be warmer and drier than average through meteorological fall – good news for leaf peepers!
Typically, colors start changing over the northwestern part of Colorado around Craig, Rangely, and Meeker in the early part of September. By the middle of the month these areas are peaking out, and yellows are showing up in the central part of the state, along I-70 around the ski resorts, the upper Arkansas River Valley, and Gunnison.
As October arrives, mountain areas start peaking from north to south, and through the middle of the month, leaves will begin peaking along the foothills and the Front Range. Usually, the first hard freeze of the season will dull the colors fast and encourage leaves to fall, and many areas do this in late October and early November.
Here are some of the top places to see the leaves:
- Guanella Pass
- Peak to Peak Highway
- Rocky Mountain National Park
- Dillon Reservoir
- Tennessee Pass
- Steamboat Springs
- Rabbit Ears Pass
- Buena Vista