- Fall is upon us, it's official, but when will we finally get to see those fall colours come to life around us?
- We spoke with an Environment Canada meteorologist to know exactly when we can start to see the leaves change in Quebec.
- Plus, did you know the leaves changing colour has nothing to do with temperatures? Details below!
Guys, I can't deny it, I'm crazy for fall. There's something about the smell in the air, the freshness of the breeze, the changing of the leaves and the need to bundle up that just gets me so excited.
My favourite thing to do to make the most of fall is going for a nice long drive to a new town or city. This way, I get the full experience of driving through the fall foliage. Plus, then I'm in a new place where I can get out, walk around and explore a new place.
While we're well into September now, the leaves in Montreal have yet to start changing, and honestly, we're probably looking at a Second Summer starting this week, if the forecast is any indication.
I decided I didn't want to wait in the dark any more and called up Environment Canada to see if they could help me find out when exactly the leaves were going to start changing here in Quebec.
And let me tell you... I learned some stuff about when and why leaves change and I can't wait to impart my new-found fall wisdom with you.
Did you know that the leaves on the trees don't change colour because it's getting cold?
I always thought the dropping temperatures brought about the beautiful array of colours we see every fall, but it turns out that the real impetus for colourful leaves is the length of the day, or the amount of sunlight trees are getting every day.
The map above, provided by Quebec Original, shows that all of the best regions in Quebec for taking in fall foliage are still in their green phase, meaning the changing leaves should be beginning soon.
So when will we begin to see real changes start to happen in the treetops?
Well, Environment Canada meteorologist Simon Legault, who I spoke with on the phone, indicated that the best time of year is usually the last weekend of September and the first couple weekends of October.
So let's take a look at the real foliage indicator - daylength.
The chart above shows the dwindling Daylength as September comes to a close.
As it stands right now, we're still seeing a full 12 hours of sunlight, which is huge compared to a month like January which only sees about 8 hours of daylight, for example.
As we look at October, you can see the sun setting earlier and earlier each day, as fall comes in full force. This is the sweet spot for fall foliage, as the days are getting shorter and shorter, but it's still not too cold outside.
Of course, temperature certainly factors in, though not in the positive sense.
In fact, colder temperatures have the ability to really ruin the peak fall foliage. If it's too cold, the leaves will just go straight to brown.
Other negative weather impacts include wind and rain, which will just knock those little leaves right to the ground.
The calendar above shows the forecasted and historical average temperature for the rest of September in Mont-Tremblant, a fantastic place to see the splendour of fall foliage in Southern Quebec.
As per Environment Canada meteorologist Simon Legault, the end of September is looking great for foliage, as temperatures are not too cold.
It's also positive that we have been having rain lately and can expect a little more of it in the coming weeks, since drier temperatures can cause less intense colours to appear.
The above calendar shows the historical average temperature for the first couple weeks of October.
This upcoming fair fall weather looks perfect for foliage, with not too much rain expected to beat the leaves out of the trees, but enough that it won't be a dry, brown season, either.
So, now you know that you should be taking your fall foliage trips near the end of September or beginning of October.
I also hope you learned something about the changing of the leaves from a scientific standpoint, cause I sure did!
And if you notice that the forecast is indicating temperatures are about to drop, be sure to get out there and snap some of those dreamy fall pics quick, before the leaves disappear again until next spring.