Local News

October 21, 2013

Fall leaf forecast — summer rain means ‘very good color’

ELLIJAY — With a little luck weather-wise, the north Georgia mountains may exhibit more color than usual this fall because of the area’s abundant rainfall during the summer, one weather prognosticator speculates.

“The rain this summer was very helpful,” said Patrick Core, chief meteorologist with WDEF News 12 in Chattanooga. “We have not had too much leaf droppage like we have had off and on the last five to 10 years because of very hot and dry summers. So our foliage is very, very full — and that’s a good thing. That means there’s going to be more color.”

Gina Kertulis-Tartar, an associate professor of biology at Dalton State College who specializes in botany, explained the process.

“The colors are based on the loss of the green color in the leaf, so those pigments that come up orange, the yellows, the reds, the kind of purple colors, are always there,” she said. “But there’s always a lot of green pigment to chlorophyll that’s present, so as we get closer to fall what happens is as the days get shorter and it starts to get cooler, that signals to the plant to stop making that green pigment ... the plants measure the length of the night — and the nights are getting longer and cooler — and that’s the signal.”

Core said the drier weather in September, and thus far in October, won’t affect the colors.

“That’s not a harmful thing either because that’s going to give us some brighter color as the leaves start to turn,” he said. “You lose a little bit of that moisture content, yet the trees are plenty strong from this summer’s rain to where if we do not have any major storms in the next two to three weeks I see a very, very good season.”

Having grown up in Pennsylvania, Kertulis-Tartar said she learned from a family member recently that leaves have changed there already. She was asked if it seemed leaf change was coming later in the season in north Georgia the last few years.

“I’m used to an earlier fall than what we have here now, but it does seem a little bit later than what I would expect because where I grew up and here are just one growth zone different,” she replied.

Core believes the atmosphere is right for vibrant hues on the mountains if the weather just holds steady.

“Right now my thinking is that if everything holds together like it has been the last few weeks — and we just kinda get a little bit of rain here and there, we have these clear skies and cool nights and sunny warm afternoons — that usually gives us some very good color by the end of the month,” he said.


Text Only
Local News
  • Bugs and Kisses 1 mlh.jpg Local stores expect tax holiday to create lots of sales

    Local retailers say Georgia’s sales tax holiday weekends mean big business for them, and they are gearing up to capitalize on this year’s tax-free shopping on Friday and Saturday.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Esme file mw 2.jpg Still fighting

    Ten-year-old Esme Miller was celebrated earlier this year for the way she’s handled a bout with osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Historical photos of Murray County needed

    Maybe you have a photograph of a well-known preacher from the 1940s. Or maybe you have a photograph taken of a church choir from the 1920s.

    July 30, 2014

  • State DOT wants your input on transportation needs

    As state and national leaders consider alternatives for funding future transportation needs, the Georgia Department of Transportation wants to know what Georgians would like in their 21st century transportation system and how they recommend paying for it.

    July 30, 2014

  • Jail for Justice Tour event here tonight

    The Moral Monday Georgia Coalition, the NAACP-led multi-racial, multi-issue advocacy group, will host an event in partnership with the Georgia Dreamers Alliance, Coalition of Latino Leaders (CLILA), Whitfield NAACP and the Whitfield County Democratic Party at Dalton’s Mack Gaston Community Center tonight from 5 to 9.

    July 30, 2014

  • Two charged with tampering with evidence in drug investigation

    Two people have been arrested and charged with tampering with evidence in connection with the synthetic marijuana bust in February involving a Dalton business owner.

    July 30, 2014

  • Beaulieu to close operations for one week for inventory

    Floorcovering giant Beaulieu of America will conduct a physical inventory of its buildings and facilities next week, with only salaried employees reporting for work.

    July 30, 2014

  • Green spot closing 1 mlh.jpg A part of the family

    Larry Green can’t remember the exact date. But he says it was about 54 years ago when his father Marvin took him to see the new store he and his brother Herman had commissioned Red Jennings to build at 309 W. Emery St. in Dalton.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • New high school?

    The only means for “staying small” and preserving “The Dalton Way” in Dalton Public Schools may be through expansion, Superintendent Jim Hawkins said Tuesday.

    July 29, 2014

  • Bond denied for man arrested in synthetic marijuana bust

    A Dalton business owner charged in a synthetic marijuana bust was denied bond Tuesday.

    July 29, 2014