MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Hunting for changing fall foliage, or leaf peeping, only happens once a year. So, isn’t it about that time of year?

Val Cervenka, the Forest Health Program Coordinator for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, says we’re running a little behind.

“We’ve had a lot of wet weather like in the past couple weeks in September, plus we’ve had some pretty high temperatures,” Cervenka said.

Don’t forget, there was a heat advisory less than two weeks ago in Minnesota.

(credit: CBS)

Cervenka says several chemicals are responsible how leaves change color, but we need two things when it comes to weather.

“What we need is sunny days and cold nights, and it might be cold right now, but the nights are just not cold enough to produce the reds,” Cervenka said.

The DNR gives weekly updates on the colors in Minnesota on their website. Right now, it shows there are no areas with peak color or the red shades. Whereas the last two years, you could already find peaking leaves in northwest Minnesota.

But if you are set on the metro, you can find some grasses, plants and flowers showing call colors.

“So there’s still going to be some treats. It may just not be as amazing as it will be in a couple of weeks,” Cervenka said.

You could drive two hours up to Duluth this weekend and see anywhere from 25- to 75-percent color or those yellow and oranges. You just have to be a little patient in the metro.

Kate Raddatz

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