PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Does it seem like the pretty autumn leaves have lasted longer on the trees this year? Leaves start changing color as the nights get longer in the fall – that’s the trees’ cue to stop producing so much chlorophyll and start shutting down the shop to let the leaves drop for winter.

But other factors affect how spectacular the leaf color show will be. While there’s plenty of folklore about how the foliage display will be each year, there’s solid science too. Leaf colors and the exact timing of their color change are affected by drought earlier in the year, as we had in June and July, as well as moisture, which we had in flooding rains during August and September.

While this has been a particularly wild weather year, it never really happens the same way twice. And that’s why each year’s leaf show is unique, hard to precisely predict, and fleeting – so enjoy it while it lasts.

Learn more about how and why leaves change color at:

Reported By Phran Novelli, KYW Newsradio

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