Good News with Dave: the Panhandle receives a one-of-a-kind autumn

Good News with Dave: the Panhandle receives a one-of-a-kind autumn

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - As we begin the month of November we move into the favorite time of year for many people in this area.

In this week’s Good News with Doppler Dave we learn why this autumn is turning out to be extra special.

The autumn season can be a really good time of year for us, but this year it is extraordinary. We have had awesome weather, nice temperatures, a lot of rain and the fall foliage has just been amazing this year.

I spoke with arborist Jake McWhorter to get his expert opinion on the fall foliage this year.

I have been tracking weather and falls around here for 33 years and this has to be one of the most colorful autumns we have ever had.

“Yeah, it really is”, according to McWhorter. “I have had a lot of people ask me about it. I have been telling people to go out and look at it, drive around. This neighborhood, Belmar, has a lot of variety, Olsen has a lot of variety, of course a little bit in Wolflin, but the variety this year is just unbelievable.”

So, what stands out this year to make the all the colors pop like this?

“So the conditions have to be just perfect”, McWhorter explains. “We have to have adequate moisture, we have to have plenty of sunlight, and we have to have cool days and cool nights, but we can’t get too cold. So we can’t have a lot of real hard freezes--that just kind of stops the process. All of it is just perfect this year.”

Fall conditions this year are generating foliage behavior that the experts rarely see.

"Those pear leaves ended up being kind of a little treasure with the black tips and then a little green and then the kind of tiger stripes so we actually got a little extra from it", McWhorter adds.

I don’t remember seeing the huge, big trees turning red like this. Is this unusual?

“Yeah it is a little bit”, McWhorter continues. “The trees have had enough time without any freezes to actually produce those. We always see the yellows, because those are always present in the leaves. When the green --the photosynthesis--starts shutting down we get to see the yellows. Those are always there, that’s the keratanoids. The anthocyanins are produced--that’s the reds and pinks--those are actually produced by the tree and we usually don’t get enough time.”

The combination of factors that has led to the fall colors this year may not happen again for years and years, we just don’t know. But this year, along with some gorgeous weather, we have the most gorgeous fall to enjoy. That’s some good news.

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