Minnesota's fall-color show is about to kick into high gear.
Peak color is arriving a bit later than it did last year, thanks to a warm September.
"We need cool nights — generally 32 to 40 or 45 degrees — and then warm days in order for the color to start to change in the leaves," said Pat Arndt, a spokeswoman for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' Parks and Trails Division. "We haven't had those cool temperatures statewide like we normally would have."
Instead, DNR observers stationed in state parks and recreation areas are reporting pockets of color. The DNR's fall color map shows leaves are 75 to 100 percent turned in Duluth, Itasca and Koochiching counties and Lake County in northern Minnesota. The DNR updated its map on Thursday in time for the weekend.
Arndt said the state parks aren't affected by the federal government shutdown, and park managers are continuing to send in photos and fall color reports.
Cooler temperatures and rain arrived in the state Wednesday night. Those still planning to take a scenic drive this fall should hope the rain and wind aren't strong enough to take down the leaves.
"If you haven't had the chance to go out and look at fall colors yet, you still are going to have opportunity over the next couple of weeks," Arndt said.
Part of the North Shore of Lake Superior, a popular spot for watching the color show, is less than 75 percent turned because the lake moderates temperatures, she said. "But if you go inland more where you don't have the lake effect the colors are starting to pop," she said.
DNR foresters have said the wet spring and early summer gave trees what they need to put on an impressive show this year. "They're just waiting for the cool nights," Arndt said.