Will the Drought Affect the Fall Colors in South Dakota?
For someone like me, who's a lover of the summer months, the reality that fall is right around the corner is somewhat of a depressing thought. It's not that I dislike the season of fall. The only problem with fall in South Dakota, it generally only lasts about 10 minutes most years.
Typically, we seem to go from a blast furnace in August to a handful of days and nights of cooler, crisp fall weather, and then right into the throws of the dead of winter for what seems like five to six months.
Personally, I think the season of autumn is awesome. I mean, who doesn't appreciate a nice warm 60 to 70-degree day, a cool crisp night, the return of football, hunting, and all the beautiful fall colors, right?
If you're a lover of fall foliage, I have some potentially bad news...
Thanks to this year's drought conditions in most parts of the country, there's a good chance we will be getting gypped out of some extended fall foliage viewing time.
An article from CNN says the combination of temperature and precipitation play a large part in the type of fall foliage conditions we can expect to see each year.
Ideally, for the best variety of fall colors and the longest viewing times, you want the temps to be not too hot and not too cold. And the moisture amounts to be not too wet and not too dry. I know, that's a virtual impossibility most years in this part of the country. Especially after a year like this, when we've experienced a significantly drier spring and summer.
The CNN story says droughts have a tendency to produce more vibrant colors, however, those colors often arrive sooner and will more than likely go away much faster due to the stress drought conditions place on trees.
Drought conditions can cause leaves to change their colors much sooner and also make leaves die and fall off earlier. Hopefully, we manage to get a little more precipitation this fall, so it will help extend out our fall foliage viewing time.
The peak fall foliage viewing period for the Sioux Falls area is mid to late October.
What are some of the best places to view fall colors in South Dakota?
According to Travel South Dakota.com, around the immediate Sioux Falls area, they recommend checking out Palisades State Park near Garretson and Newton Hills State Park near Canton. The Lewis and Clark Recreation Area by Yankton is a must-see spot for fall foliage lovers as well.
There are a number of great locations out in western South Dakota. The biggie has to be Custer State Park. That Spearfish Canyon drive never disappoints either.
When you think about it, the Black Hills is loaded full of awesome fall foliage viewing locations.
Here's to hoping we can keep Old Man Winter at bay for a few months so we can hopefully enjoy all the beautiful colors and the benefits fall has to offer us here in South Dakota.
Source: CNN/ Travel South Dakota
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