Fall color change accelerates this week

It looks like the perfect storm for a delayed but excellent fall color season this year across Minnesota.

Fall Color Victoria 1
Fall color in Victoria in 2014. Paul Huttner/MPR news

Our extended summer has delayed our annual fall color burst this year by at least a week in most areas. Still, this could be the perfect year for the trees to go out in a blaze of autumnal glory.

Here's why:

  • Abundant rainfall this summer with healthy dense tree canopy foliage

  • Relatively little extreme heat to stress trees (MSP recorded only four days of 90 degree heat this summer)

  • Lack of drought stress across Minnesota


MPR News is Reader Funded

Before you keep reading, take a moment to donate to MPR News. Your financial support ensures that factual and trusted news and context remain accessible to all.

This week's weather should help accelerate fall color progression cross Minnesota.

Here's why we should see a rapid increase in the progression of fall colors this week.

  • Shorter daylight (daylight slips to under 12 hours this week)

  • Colder nights (30s north and low to mid 40s south)

  • Cool sunny days with highs in the 50s north and low 60s south

The latest fall color update from the Minnesota DNR shows colors beginning to pop more vividly in pockets of northern Minnesota.


The last weekend in September is typically when colors reach "peak" across the north. This year colors are running at least a week later than the longer term averages.


With lows this week pushing freezing across northern Minnesota, and bottoming out in the low 40s near the metro, expect the annual fall color progression to accelerate this week.