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WEATHER BLOG: Fall foliage

Climate influences the landscape of south Texas through Fall and Winter.
Credit: KIII Staff

The Coastal Bend has seen a few cold snaps since the start of Fall. While the air isn’t always cold here, the cooler air can help influence the landscape. Among other things, the cooler air of Fall and Winter help change the color in leaves.  

Let’s state the obvious, our viewing area doesn’t see the dramatic change in tree color. The Rockies, the Midwest, the Pacific Northwest all see a spectacular transition into Fall. Why don’t we? There are numerous factors that play into Fall foliage. Here are some that help the trees change color.  

Credit: KIII Staff

The lack of cooler air and our geographical location is what it boils down to. South Texas is constantly exposed to humidity and a warm climate. The trees in south Texas are either flourishing in green color or suffering in drought. For leaves to change to orange, red, yellow, etc. The trees have to be constantly exposed to cold and dry conditions over a certain period of time. Moreover, the dry cold is not consistent enough here to help the chlorophyll in the tree to gradually change color. Our day to day weather may get cold but it warms back up quickly.

Credit: KIII Staff

To conclude, our climate is not favorable. In fact, it’s the opposite. Due to our latitude, location and the Gulf of Mexico, our climate is dominated by humidity and warm weather compared to other regions. Areas around Texas such as Gardner State Park and Lost Maples are located near the Texas Hill County. These areas see a colorful change into late Fall. Due to higher elevation, they are exposed to cooler and drier weather more often than we are.