Weather Tidbits: Why Do Leaves Change Colors?
This Weather Tidbits explains why leaves change their colors. It all starts in the spring and summer; the green color is from a pigment called chlorophyll where trees make energy from absorbing sunlight through photosynthesis. By autumn with the cooler weather and shorter days upon us; the tree’s chlorophyll breaks down, leaving other chemicals that cause the colors to change. The 4 main colors that are viewed in autumn are green with the pigment chlorophyll, yellow with xanthophyll, orange with carotene and red with anthocyanin; with the last three colors masked up during the summer months. Bright colors are more likely when the late summer is dry (starting in August) and autumn has sunny days and cool nights.