CADILLAC — Depending on where you go, the colorful evidence of Autumn is easy to see.

The Cadillac Cemetery is especially serene, with brilliant yellows, oranges and reds interspersed among other leaves that are still the deepest hues of green.

In a few weeks, it won't matter where you go: the colors of fall will be impossible to miss ... at least that's what the experts say.

The effects of dropping temperatures have been subtle in Cadillac so far, but forecasters say it's only a matter of time before leaves show their true colors.

Accuweather Meteorologist Max Vido said this year's fall color has been a slow buildup in the Northern Michigan area. He said much of the midwest is experiencing the same thing.

"Warm temperatures in September and the start of October have delayed the onset of color change," Vido said.

During a typical year, Vido said fall foilage color peaks around mid-October — from Oct. 10 through Oct. 20. Due to the delay, he anticipates this area won't see its best color until near the end of the month.

Vido said low overnight temperatures in the 30s and 40s are a clear signal for trees to shut off chlorophyl production in the leaves; the color is present in the leaf at all times but when the green chlorophyl drains away, it exposes it to the world.

There have been a few nights that hovered around the freezing range, but not enough for trees to start their transformation into winter dormancy.

This is good and bad, Vido said, because if temperatures drop too suddenly, it can cause damage to the leaves and the trees will drop them prematurely.

"I don't think that damage occurred in Northern Michigan," Vido said.

The thing to watch out for in a year like this is the chance of storm activity and winds later in October and into November.

Vido said the window for peak fall colors might be quite brief if a heavy wind event blows all the leaves from the trees just as they're becoming their most vibrant.

Cadillac News