NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Heading out into the woods lately already shows off fall sunshine illuminating the trees: Leaves sway in the breeze, some green, others already showing their autumn colors.

So many leaves are underfoot this early in the season, and that isn’t good, CBSN New York’s Vanessa Murdock.

It means fewer leaves on the trees to turn beautiful fall colors.

A big factor influencing autumn this year is a lack of from the eighth driest September on record.

“Well, I hate to disappoint,” said Todd Forrest, vice president of Horticulture and Living Collections at the New York Botanical Garden. “Because it’s been so dry, the trees are going into fall without a lot of energy and not in the most healthy of conditions.”

Forrest adds the leaves turn brown, shrivel and drop prematurely.

“Depending on how long the drought persists, the remaining leaves might have tepid hues, kind of subdued hues,” he said.

Another factor affecting peeping the unseasonable warmth. It may delay the start of the transition from green to glowing gold and crimson by about a week.

The weather already delayed the migration of the monarch butterfly.

Typically, peak color arrives throughout much of the Tri-State Area in late October, and closer to early November in New York City.

In New Jersey and the Hudson Valley, peak color is usually seen in mid-October.

If you have plans to peep this weekend, head to the Catskills where 70% of leaves have changed their color.


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