This time of year can be beautiful with leaves turning bright and vivid, but not this year.
Last autumn, if you recall, was one of the nicest falls in recent memory. It was warm, sunny and dry, and the colors of the leaves were vibrant. That summer before, the weather was not too hot with timely rain, and the early part of autumn was warm and dry. This sequence of weather conditions is ideal for pulling out the best color in the leaves.
This year is different. Fall color is lackluster at best. Colors are dull and leaves are falling off already. Summer was close to average, there was not excessive heat or drought that would stress trees and the leaves. Late August and September have been fairly wet. Significant rain has fallen.
Ideal conditions for fall color leading up to this time of year are sunny days, not much precipitation, and nights that are chilly but not freezing. Warm sun right before the leaves start changes provides the sugars needed for brighter pigment production and the cold nights make sure the sugars do not travel far from the leaf.
So expect a fairly quick fall with muted color, less oranges, reds and yellows before the white.