2016-09-29 / Outdoors

Weather (finally) takes on a feel of fall

Warmth felt earlier this month has given way to more seasonable temperatures that accompanied the change from summer to fall.

Night time temperatures this week at the Northwest Michigan Horticultural Research Center dropped to the low to mid-50s for five consecutive days.

That represents a significant change from earlier this month, when the thermometer rose above 80 on three days, topping out at 89 over Labor Day weekend at the same site.

The average high in September at the research center through yesterday was 73.8, more than 3 degrees higher than the historical normal of 70.1. Across the county, at the .National Weather Service cooperative weather station in Maple City, the average high through Monday was 74.5, besting “normal” temps by 2.1 degrees.

With the apparent transition from summer to fall underway, interest in the fall color season is increasing, according to Sally Guzowski, director of the Leelanau Peninsula Chamber of Commerce.

“I’ve gotten more calls in the past week than I ever had,” she said. “It’s crazy, but I love it.”

Cooler nighttime temperatures also trigger the change of the leaves.

Based on the forecast from the National Weather Service through Sunday, fall temperatures aren’t going anywhere. Average highs are expected to remain below 70 degrees and lows will stay in the 50s.

Cool temperatures and about an inch of rain were recorded earlier this week at the Northwest Michigan Horticultural Research Center in Bingham Township.

Given the change in weather to autumn, is Guzowski suggesting leaf peepers bring a sweater along?

“No, they can wait and buy it here,” she said.

And when should they arrive?

“I always tell them if you come the second weekend in October, you won’t be disappointed.”

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