Heather’s Weather Lab: Why Leaves Change Color

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COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – This time of the year we have an opportunity to take in mother nature’s beauty one leaf at a time. This morning in the weather lab we talk about why leaves change colors.

From beautiful golden yellow leaves to gorgeous red ones, it’s simply a sign of Fall. For Vickie Greenhaw of Columbus. it’s one of her favorite things about this time of the year.

“Besides college football, I love the colors, the leaves and the the crisp mornings,” said Columbus Resident Vicki Greenhaw.

Less daylight is the primary reason leaves change colors. The color of a leaf comes from pigments, which are natural substances produced by leaf cells. There are 3 primary ones are Chlorophyll, carotenoid and anthocyanin. We’re likely all familiar with chlorophyll. Of the three, it’s the most important one. That’s because it’s able to use sunlight to produce food for the tree.

Trees produce less and less chlorophyll during the fall because we have less sunlight. That’s when we start seeing the yellow and red leaves.

Depending on the weather during the fall , also depends on how brilliant the colors appear. When we have several warm and sunny days and cool but not freezing nights, one after the other, we’ll see leaves with more red in them.

But sooner rather than later – fall has to come to an end, and that’s something that Vickie doesn’t like…

“The only thing I dont’ like is when those gorgeous leaves fall on the ground and you have to rake them up,” said Greenhaw.

But before we know it, April showers will bring may flowers, and then we enter into pollen season!

Not all all trees lose their leaves. In fact Pines,Spruces and firs are evergreen year round. They may keep their leaves for two to four more years.

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