AccuWeather Global Weather Center — 23 September 2014 — AccuWeather reports with the start of fall this week, lows across the mid-Atlantic and Northeast have plummeted into the 30s and 40s at times, providing a sufficient cold blast to encourage the emergence of vibrant colors in autumn leaves.

“The weather between mid-September and mid-October is critically important to fall colors,” Dr. Marc Abrams, professor of Forest Ecology and Physiology at Penn State University, said. “The period is often more important than all the preceding weather.”

Coupled with other factors, temperatures around 40 F are ideal for boosting the vibrancy of the foliage.

With a frost and freeze occurring in parts of New York and areas farther north early in September and a few chilly nights forecast in the near future, the Northeast will be in ‘good shape’ for leaf-peepers across the region, Dr. Michael Day, University of Maine research professor of Physiological Ecology, said.

According to Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski, “While there can be a touch of frost in the coldest spots of northern New England and upstate New York at midweek, lows most nights through the remainder of the week will be in the 40s in the central and northern Appalachians and will trend upward into the weekend.”

The vibrancy of leaves in the Northeast typically peaks in late September through early October, depending on the state; however, Day believes peaks could occur slightly later than normal this year.

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