Lack of rain could impact the fall foliage in Western Massachusetts

Heat, pollution, and poor air quality can all put stress on the trees and cause the trees to lose their leaves.

GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP)- Western Massachusetts continues to see little rainfall this summer.

The drought may be good for planning outdoor activities, but not for the land. The ongoing drought we’ve had this summer in western Massachusetts could affect what you see during your fall foliage drive in Franklin County.

“When we have conditions like this, where it’s hotter than normal, drier than normal it puts a lot of stress on the trees and they tend to lose their leaves earlier,” said 22News Stormteam Meteorologist Adam Strzempko. “You’re going to see that on the highway in the next couple of months.”

Heat, pollution, and poor air quality can all put stress on the trees and cause the trees to lose their leaves. Rain helps alleviate that stress. In Franklin County, Route 2 is the most popular road for fall foliage, extending from Greenfield to Charlemont. But Franklin County officials are confident the tourists will come, even if the colors aren’t as bright this fall.

“It may be impacting people who are planning their vacation last minute, but the fact is it’s the most popular time of year and the hotels are booked,” said Lisa Davol
Franklin County Chamber of Commerce. “People book their vacations well in advance.”

Davol said it’s about more than just “leaf-peeping.” Tourists can enjoy the fall festivals across Franklin County. The weather is usually comfortable enough for outdoor activities like kayaking, boating, and zip-lining.

Davol said they have many visitors who come back every year just for the small town feel.

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