Fall colors, changing sun angles, and shorter day lengths
Fall officially started yesterday and now that means leaves will begin to change, daylengths will be getting shorter, and our sun's intensity here in Michiana will weaken.
So what does that mean for us here in Michiana? To start, the beginning of fall is marked by the suns location over the equator, this is the same spot the sun returns to during the spring. As we transition from fall to winter, the sun drops further in the sky and locates itself over the Tropic of Capricorn. As the sun moves further away from us here in Michiana, our sun angle increases while the sun's intensity decreases. This means during the afternoon our UV index, on a nice sunny day, will rarely make it out of the moderate stage, in comparison to high and extreme during the summer months. Naturally, as our sunlight intensity decrease and the sun get further away, now our day lengths get shorter as well.
Right now we receive just over 12 hours of daylight. That will drop nearly two hours by November 1st, and almost 3 hours by the start of winter. So as the days get shorter, it's even more important to get outside and take advantage of nice weather whenever we have it.
Whenever we have nice weather during the fall lots of people like to get out and enjoy the changing colors of the leaves. We start to see more drastic changes in those leaves once we get into October. Peak fall color is expected right around October 25th. One big player in when fall colors begin to develop and the vibrancy of those colors is drought. Typically places that are operating at a rain deficit for the year, or that experience severe drought during the summer will see an earlier changing of leaf colors, and less vibrancy. For us here in Michiana our fall colors look to be around normal.