California Fall Color – Dude, autumn happens here too!

California Fall ColorCalifornia Fall Color is a seasonal blog (mid-September to Thanksgiving Day) that reports fall color throughout California. Reports and photographs are provided by volunteer color spotters.

California Fall Color uses the same color scale as The Weather Channel. It measures the % of overall change of color in a forest, not on a given tree. It’s also helpful to guide or plan trips to see color. Leaf peepers and photographers want to know when to be in a given area when it’s approaching peak or at peak, the scale helps guide travel planning.

Given that primer, here’s the full Weather Channel scale:

0 – 15% (Little to no change of color, some lime, mostly green)

15 – 30% (slight change of color, lots of lime color, some yellow)

30 – 50% (approaching half the foliage is showing color)

50 – 75% (approaching peak, lots of color, still some lime)

75 – 100% (at peak)

Past Peak (most leaves have lost color or been blown away, though some pockets of color may exist)

The scale indicates the % of change, but it doesn’t help knowing when you should plan to be in a certain area. Lots of factors can affect color change. Look back at previous California Fall Color blogs and you’ll see cases where they were reporting 30 – 50% and within a few days it was peaking. This is particularly so at higher elevations, where color can change suddenly. If the bloggers write “Go Now,” they don’t guarantee how long the color will last. It could be gone the next day. “Go Now” means delay your trip not later than the end of that week. Even then, there are no guarantees. A wind storm can knock leaves from trees (as photographed last year) in a matter of minutes.

There are now four ways to use California Fall color: comment on WordPress blog, follow us on Twitter (@CalifFallColor), post to Facebook (California Fall Color) or pin on Pinterest (California Fall Color).