Mild, sunny weather practically perfect for leaf-peeping

NEGAUNEE, Mich. (WLUC) - This week's mild, sunny weather has been practically perfect for leaf-peeping.

Negaunee resident and outdoor enthusiast, Sara McDonald, agrees this is one of the best times of the year for enjoying all the beauty Upper Michigan has to offer.

"This time of year is one of my favorites. I like all the seasons. That’s why I love Michigan because we get four seasons. But this time, especially I love because it’s the transition from an amazing summer to a beautiful fall. And if the colors are just right, its incredible views, and when we get days like this, you have to get out and explore it, that's for sure," McDonald declared.

It’s not just locals that enjoy these prime leaf-peeping weather. Vickie Prussman and her two sisters drove here all the way from South Dakota to do an Upper Peninsula fall color tour.

"I love the waterfalls, but just the color in general, because we have a lot of yellows in South Dakota. We don't have much oranges and reds like up here," Prussman asserted.

She and her sisters are strolling across the Old County Road 510 Bridge in Marquette County.

"We started off from Duluth, went along the north shore [of Lake Superior] and then went to Copper Harbor and then we went to Bond Falls,” Prussman stated.

She says the colors haven't quite peaked in places like Copper Harbor just yet.

"It's good, but this right here is better,” Prussman reasoned.

While it’s shorter days and the loss of sunlight that causes the leaves to change colors. Matt Zika, Warning Coordination Meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in Negaunee Township, says the intensity and duration of our peak fall colors is driven by more short term factors.

"It was very warm through the second half of September. Overnights were very warm and muggy which actually delayed our peak time for fall colors this year, probably about ten days to almost two weeks across most of Upper Michigan," Zika calculated.

Zika says this year the most vibrant colors are happening towards mid-October. However, inevitable gales and even heavy rainfall can cut our leaf-peeping pleasure short.

"It's definitely going to be a breezy stretch from Friday into Saturday. So as we approach peak here for many areas over the next couple of days, the leaves probably won't stick around for very long," Zika hinted.

Deteriorating weekend weather may kill the fall colors sooner than you might think.

"So if you have an opportunity where the sun just happens to be out, that's probably going to be your ideal time to truly catch the brilliance of the fall colors. Once we reach into Thursday morning. That may be the last sunshine we see for an extended period, at least well into next week," Zika predicted.

Click here to check the latest fall colors report.

Have your cameras handy and happy snapping.

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