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Fall color update; warmth driving second lilac bloom?

Some lilacs are blooming again.

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It’s been a warm start to meteorological fall this September. Our late season July-like heat means green is still the dominant color in the Twin Cities treescape. 

Mostly green trees in the southwest Twin Cities on September 23.
Mostly green trees in the southwest Twin Cities on Monday
Paul Huttner | MPR News

Vibrant color up north

Colors are popping more quickly now in northern Minnesota. Vibrant colors are everywhere near Oberg Mountain in Cook County.

Oberg Mountain fall color.
Oberg Mountain fall color.
Courtesy of Visit Cook County

Monday’s latest Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Fall color update shows 50 to 75 percent color across much of northern Minnesota.

Fall color report
Fall color report
Minnesota DNR

Lilacs blooming again

The late-season warm spell appears to have tricked some lilacs to bloom for a second time this season. This happened in 2009 at the Huttner Weather Lab. 

Lilacs in bloom on September 21.
Lilacs in bloom on Saturday
Courtesy of Gary Boer

Gary Boer explains what his lilacs are doing this month.

My lilacs are blooming for the second time (Sept. 21).  They are not one of the special varieties known to do this. They are decades old. In searching the internet I found a 10-year-old report by Paul Huttner reporting the same phenomenon there. I'm sure by now you can tell me if this is weather-related. Looking around I have seen occasional blooms on other bushes in the area, and I once had a couple fall blooms when my pumpkin vine-covered a lilac bush... but this Bush is in full bloom!

Astronomical fall arrives

We know meteorologists march to the beat of a different seasonal drummer. Here’s a good explainer on the difference between astronomical and meteorological seasons.

Arctic Sea ice reaches second-lowest extent