Ask a Meteorologist: When will the leaves change colors?

Fall officially started Friday, and with that comes cooler temperatures, college football, and the leaves changing from green to brilliant reds and oranges.

But, why does this happen? Courteney Jacobazzi explains why and when to expect this new pop of color.

Q: Why do we even have seasons?

A: It's because of how the earth tilts on its axis as it rotates around the sun. After the fall equinox on Friday, our days are going to get shorter and shorter and this is why: The Earth is tilting away from the sun, meaning our days are going to get shorter and we are going to get less direct sunlight.

Q: What does that mean for our weather and plants?

A: It’s going to get cooler, therefore the leaves will start to change colors.

Q: Why do the leaves change colors?

A: Leaves are green because they absorb sun, and the sun creates chlorophyll – a green pigment found in plants. As we go farther into fall, the cooler temperatures and diminishing sunlight causes the chlorophyll to break down.

Q: When can we expect to see those changes here in Central Georgia?

A: The temperature changes peak in the region around late November. The father north you go, the earlier it will be. North Georgia can expect to see changes in early November and the Tennessee Valley area will see fall colors in late October.

Even though it doesn't quite feel like fall this week, we will start to see the leaves change very soon.

© 2017 WMAZ-TV


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