When Will The Fall Color Peak In Sedona Arizona?
(Above) - December 7th, 2019 - Peak Color
Watching the Japanese Maple helps give us some understanding of previous peak fall color and why the peak may vary each year. The last two years, our peak fall color on the Japanese Maple has gone into December. It really makes for a wonderful Thanksgiving because the color is pretty vivid.
In A Nutshell...What causes the leaves to change color?
As the sun gets lower in the sky during fall, photosynthesis ceases and the chlorophyll in the leaves dwindles. This brings out the underlying color layered in the leaves.
Many people (including myself) often think that the first freeze gets the process moving to change the color. However, the process starts when the sunlight starts to wane in the fall. Weather can affect the vivid fall colors though. The best weather is cool nights and lots of sunlight and having favorable weather in the summer. Drought conditions will delay the onset of the fall color. This is why the last two years Sedona has had a late fall season. As noted below in the 2021 Monsoon Summary, we had record rainfall this monsoon.
One of my favorite things to watch on my Japanese Maple is that filtered sunlight can make a rainbow effect on different leaves. Some leaves have multiple colors. I think it is because the tree is so dense.
Sedona Monsoon 2021 Summary
Overall, we had milder temperatures and record rainfall during this monsoon. Our last day of 100º weather was on August 5th. For most of the country, August can be a scorcher, but lots of cloud cover and cooler rain kept the temps lower than last year.
Here are the totals and rank by year for the top 4 years since 2010.
It includes June through September of each year.
2016 - 10.16 inches
2021 - 9.60 inches
2012 - 9.01 inches
2013 - 8.18 inches
In contrast, 2020 had only 0.91 inches of rain putting 2020 in last place.
Will Sedona See The Change of Seasons Earlier in 2021?
As you can see, the color change is quite a bit ahead of last year. My guess is that the color will peak before Thanksgiving this year due to all the rain and cooler temperatures during the summer.
Charts For Sedona Weather through September 2021
Precipitation By Month
Sedona Temperature Almanac
For More Sedona Weather Information