Will the drought of 2012 affect Mother Nature's fall show of colors?

As the fall season sets to begin this weekend, soon too will the showcase of fall colors. Or will they?

With the drought of 2012 seemingly behind us, the question is if those dry conditions will affect the show of colors this fall.

The answer as to how weather affects fall colors is not an easy one with each variable playing a role, but here is what we do know. The amount and brilliance of the colors that develop in any particular autumn season are related to weather conditions that occur before and during the time the chlorophyll in the leaves is dwindling. Temperature and moisture are the main influences.

A run of warm, sunny days and cool, crisp, but not freezing nights seems to bring about the best color displays.

Yes, the amount of moisture in the soil also affects autumn colors.

A late spring, or a severe summer drought can delay the onset of fall color by a few weeks. A warm period during fall will also lower the intensity of autumn colors.

Take a look at the U.S. Forest Service "Fall Colors 2012" page where you can learn more about the change in seasons, read the Fall Colors Blogs and even get your kids moving outside.

Even the University of Illinois Extension office, Missouri Department of Conservation and the Iowa DNR have great websites packed with fall resources.

Do you have a specific tree on your property that you look forward to watching change every fall? Tell us below about it's best or worst years and don't forget to capture a photo and send it in this season!