Iowa is getting a glimpse of fall color


DES MOINES, Iowa (KWQC) – Iowa’s getting a taste of the changing leaves, but will the season sputter?
Unfortunately, this year may be more average than awesome for leaf viewers, according to Jeff Goerndt, Iowea Department of Natural Resources State Forest section supervisor.

Goerndt says because of the wet late summer weather, color will likely be variable across the state. He says you get the best and brightest colors when you’ve got a lot of warm, dry, sunny days and cool nights. As days get shorter, chlorophyll production slows, allowing trees to go dormant and other leaf colors to show. The broadest pallet of fall colors can be found in northeast Iowa, where there are more hard maples supplying the bright reds and oranges, says Goerndt. But there are plenty of other areas around the state with outstanding fall landscapes.

Leaves typically change in northern Iowa first, between the last week of September to the second week of October. Central Iowa will see leaves changing from the first to third weeks of October and southern Iowa between the second week and the end of October.

How vivid and how long leaves remain is also determined by weather, and the leaf-watching season can be cut short by strong wind events.

For weekly updates on fall color around Iowa contact the DNR fall color hotline at 515-233-4110. Weekly updates, along with other fall color information can be found at  or

In Illinois, you can find information on changing leaves at:

If you see fall colors, send it Straight to Six. Email your photos to

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