In some parts of the state, it’s starting to look like autumn. Leaves on trees that were stressed by drought are starting to change color and drop. Forester Mark Vitosh says fall is arriving early.
“I’m already starting to see some fall color, which is an indication those plants are deciding to shut down early and try to adapt to the conditions that are here,” Vitosh says.
During a typical year, the fall colors are at their most brilliant in October. Vitosh says the change in leaf color could climax a few weeks earlier this year.
There’s also another worst-case scenario for fans of fall foliage.
“The other thing that happens with a drought, instead of getting fall color, you get a lot of nothing…a lot of brown or yellow or faded trees that just shut down. So, we may not get the brilliant colors,” Vitosh says.
An early frost is also a possibility in Nebraska, due to the drought. Dry air cools much faster than humid air, especially at night. Frost isn’t usually an issue until late September, but some weather experts say it may arrive sooner this year.