Yeah, you’re not getting it mixed up — fall colors did come a lot later this year. Predictions usually peg our peak fall colors for early October, but Seattle was still plenty green until just recently.
There are a few factors that can delay the timing of fall colors. Let’s see if any of them feel... familiar.
- A late spring (check ✅ — thanks La Niña)
- Severe summer drought (Eh...kinda?)
- A warm fall (hello, 80° October days)
Essentially, each of these things slow the trees metabolism and how quickly they can break down chlorophyll (y’know, the green stuff).
But Seattle is also typically a much cooler, wetter area of the nation, which is why we also normally get to see the splendors of autumn a bit earlier than our southern neighbors.
Here are some recommendations for catching those colors now as we finally reach our peak.