Summer drought could mean drab fall in PA

Written by Radio Pennsylvania | Sep 25, 2016 8:50 AM

(Harrisburg) -- The drought that has been dogging parts of Pennsylvania could mean drives through the state this fall will be a little less scenic. 

Half of Pennsylvania's counties have been under a drought watch since the beginning of August and that means trees in those areas are likely making less of the starch that will determine how bright their leaves turn this fall.

Professor of Forest Ecology at Penn State, Marc Abrams, says he's predicting a slight to moderate impact in color this year, but if temperatures stay warm, that could further impact the fall foliage.

"What we need is for the temperatures to start getting cool and actually cold by the middle of October. If things stay warm and wet, that's going to be another negative on fall colors, kind of like a double whammy," Abrams said.

The tourism industry in some parts of Pennsylvania leans heavily on stunning autumn displays and it could take a hit if the colors are drab. 

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